Maha Shivratri 2020 Date: One of the most important days of the Hindu calendar, Maha Shivratri, it is believed, is the celebration of the convergence of the forces of Shiva and Shakti. This year, Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on February 21, which is a Friday.
As the name suggests, the day is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva — the god of destruction, and one of three in the holy Hindu trinity. It is believed that while there is a Shivratri every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, the Maha Shivratri, or the ‘great night of Shiva’ happens once every year, when the winter recedes in February/March, and paves the way for spring and summer.
The day is synonymous with overcoming darkness and ignorance, and moving forward in life with a renewed sense of consciousness. On this day, devotees wake up early in the morning and observe a strict full-day fast. They seek the blessings of the God and chant prayers and mantras. Also, they take a second bath sometime in the evening and then visit the temple or sit down for a prayer at home. Some devotees also make offerings to Lord Shiva in the form of fruits and milk. In many temples across India, the sacred mantra of ‘Om Namah Shivay‘ is chanted all day.
The day is particularly important to the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. And unlike other festivals which have a lot of colour and zest, this one is more solemn. There is a lot of internal reflection and introspection. In Shaivism, it is said that on this night, Lord Shiva had performed the hypnotic and heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction. Other legends say that on this night, Shiva and Shakti had got married.
Besides India, the festival is also celebrated in Nepal.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines