Maha Shivratri 2024: Is it on March 8 or 9? Date, puja timing and significance - Hindustan Times
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Maha Shivratri 2024: Is Maha Shivratri on March 8 or 9? Date, puja timing, history, significance and celebration

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 05, 2024 12:26 PM IST

Maha Shivratri 2024: Know Maha Shivratri date, shubh muhurat, history, significance, celebration and all you need to know about the auspicious Hindu festival.

Maha Shivratri 2024: Shivaratri is celebrated in every month of the luni-solar calendar, in accordance with the Hindu calendar. However, once a year, in late winter, Maha Shivratri is celebrated to commemorate the upcoming summer throughout India and among the Hindu population in Nepal and West Indies, with great pomp and show where the stories behind them often vary among different communities and regions. Maha Shivratri, literally translates as ‘the great night of Shiva’ and according to legend, it is on this predominantly Hindu festival night that Shiva performs his heavenly dance or ‘tandav’.

Maha Shivratri 2024: Is it on March 8 or 9? Date, puja time, history, significance and celebration of Hindu festival (File Photo)
Maha Shivratri 2024: Is it on March 8 or 9? Date, puja time, history, significance and celebration of Hindu festival (File Photo)

Maha Shivratri 2024 Date:

This year, the auspicious festival will be celebrated on March 8.

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Maha Shivratri 2024 Puja time:

According to Drik Panchang -

  • Chaturdashi Tithi Begins = 09:57 pm on March 08, 2024
  • Chaturdashi Tithi Ends = 06:17 pm on Mar 09, 2024
  • Nishita Kaal Puja Time = 12:07 am to 12:56 am, March 09
  • On March 09, Shivaratri Parana Time = 06:37 am to 03:29 am

Maha Shivratri 2024 History and Significance:

According to Hindu mythology, there are several reasons associated as to why we celebrate Maha Shivaratri. It is believed that on the day of Maha Shivratri, Shiva and Parvati got married hence, every year, the day is observed to celebrate their union.

In other words, Shivratri is supposed to be the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti, which in essence mean the masculine and feminine energies that balance the world. However, another legend says that Maha Shivratri is observed to remember the day when Shiva drank the poison that got churned out from the ocean during Samudra Manthan and protected the world from darkness and dismay.

This poison got stored in his throat thus, making it blue which is the reason that Shiva is also known as Neelkanth (blue throat). Of the 12 Shivratris observed in any given year, Maha Shivratri is considered especially auspicious and in Hindu culture, this is a solemn festival that marks the remembrance of ‘overcoming darkness and ignorance in life’.

Different legends, throughout history, describe the significance of Maha Shivratri and according to one of them, it is on this night that Shiva performs his cosmic dance of ‘creation, preservation and destruction’. Another legend dictates that on this night, offerings of Shiva’s icons can help one overcome and let go of their sins and start on the path of righteousness, allowing the individual to reach Mount Kailash and achieve ‘moksha’.

Maha Shivratri 2024 Celebration:

Unlike a lot of Hindu festivals, Maha Shivratri is not an overtly joyous festival as this is a night reserved for self-reflection and introspection for the purpose of growing and leaving behind all things that hinder our success. People all over the country celebrate Maha Shivratri according to the customs dictated in the region.

Some celebrate in the morning, while other organise pujas and jagrans at night while devotees also observe a full day fast on Maha Shivratri, eating only on the next day after bathing. The fast is observed not only to attain Shiva’s blessings but also as a test of one’s own determination.

Keeping fast during Maha Shivratri is considered very auspicious. Refraining from consumption of food and water for a particular time is also healthy for the body and the mind and it is believed that praying to Shiva after keeping fast makes him happy.

Milk, honey, fruits and bel leaves are offered to the idol of Shiva. Devotees start the day with a bath in the river Ganges, then visit the temple, keep fast for the day and offer their prayers to Shiva. It is believed that chanting Om Namah Shivaya brings blessings and fulfillment of wishes and desires by Shiva.

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