Updated February 18th, 2024 at 15:09 IST

Maha Shivratri 2024: Know The Correct Date, History, Significance, And More

On Maha Shivratri, devotees of Lord Shiva offer prayers and carry out rituals to receive his blessings.

Maha Shivratri 2024: Know The Correct Date, History, Significance | Image:Unsplash
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Mahashivratri, one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals, is celebrated to commemorate the upcoming summer throughout India among the Hindu population in Nepal and West Indies, with great pomp and show. On this auspicious day, devotees of Lord Shiva offer prayers and carry out rituals to receive his blessings. Lord Shiva is also worshiped as Jyotirlingam at 12 sacred Jyotirlinga shrines across India. Jyotirlinga or Jyotirlingam, a Sanskrit word, is a devotional representation of Lord Shiva that refers to Jyoti (Radiance) and Linga (Sign).

File photo of a temple | Image: Unsplash

Mahashivratri 2024 - Date and more

According to the Hindu calendar, Maha Shivratri is observed annually on the fourteenth day of the dark half of the lunar month of Phalguna. In the Gregorian calendar, this year, the day falls on Friday, March 8, 2024. Therefore, the festival will be celebrated on March 8. 

Understanding history and significance 

According to Hindu mythology, there are several reasons associated with the celebration of this epic Hindu festival. It is believed that on the day of Mahashivratri, Shiva and Parvati got married. Hence, every year, the day is observed to celebrate their union.

Another legend says that Mahashivratri is observed to remember the day when Shiva drank the poison that got churned out from the ocean during Samudra Manthan. This is how he protected the world from darkness and dismay.

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This poison got stored in his throat thus. His throat got blue as a result and this is why Shiva is also known as Neelkanth. Of the 12 Shivratris observed, Maha Shivratri is considered especially auspicious. Another legend claims that this was the day when Shiva performs his cosmic dance of ‘creation, preservation and destruction’.

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Published February 18th, 2024 at 15:09 IST