ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Maha Shivaratri: The All India Hindu Festival

Updated on January 30, 2018
sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

Sunilkunnoth loves spiritual sojourns and makes frequent travels to the pilgrimage centres across India.

Lord Shiva, The God of Gods
Lord Shiva, The God of Gods | Source

Maha Shivaratri is a festival being celebrated across India. The word 'Maha' means great and Siva is a most revered God in Hindu Philosophy and 'Ratri' means Night. So 'Maha Shivaratri' means The Great Night of Lord Siva or Siva's night. The intensity of its observance is same everywhere in India. In the North, South, West & East people celebrate Shivaratri with equal enthusiasm and devotion. It is a Hindu festival and has a strong base of spirituality.


Maha Shivaratri is joyously celebrated on the night of the 14th day of Krishna Paksha of Falgun as per the Hindu calendar. It normally comes during February or March. Next time it happens on 13th of February, 2018.


Faithful take one meal on a preceding day and keep fast for the whole day on the Shivaratri. Women follow this custom very seriously. On the festival day, the night is dedicated to Lord Shiva to his worship. The practice of various austerities and meditation are strictly observed by devotees. A large queue of devotees can be seen at all Shiva temples. The temples are well decorated and illuminated. Grand poojas are offered to please and get the blessing of Lord Shiva. Some grand entertainment programs are also the usual scene at certain Siva temples.


On that night, the devotees do not sleep. they gather in temples. Chanting Slokas, Manthras and singing Bhajans, they spend time. To keep them awake the whole night (as it is custom to remain sleepless), cultural programs are being performed. These entertainment programs usually start by midnight and run up to the early morning next day. It is the night for Siva actually. It is believed that he takes a good sleep on this night while his devotees avoid their sleep.

Shivaratri celebration in Mauritius (A Video)

The Festival Celebration in a Temple in Kozhikode, Kerala.
The Festival Celebration in a Temple in Kozhikode, Kerala. | Source

How to observe Shivaratri


There are certain guidelines for devotees to observe this festival, which I narrate below;


  • Observe fast on this day. Avoid usual take of foods. Have only fruits and milk
  • Perform Pooja ( a kind of Hindu worship) to please Lord Shiva.
  • Chant various hymns and devotional songs of Lord Shiva
  • If possible, perform Rudrabhisheka
  • Chant the mantra "Om Namah Shivaya" as much as you can.


Rather than festivity, what makes Shivaratri a different experience is the observance of austerity and devotional activities. Also, Pandits and Purohits (Poojaris or Priests) assemble at Shiva temples and participate in mega-rituals like 'Abhishek' 'Rudra Mahayagna' and various rounds of 'Archanas' (Poojas) with flowers. They chant Siva's one thousand holy names. This ritual is called "Laksharchana" or "Koti Archana" depending upon the number of rounds by which the Archanas are completed.


Sivaratri is a great experience. If you visit the Northern part of India during the season you could witness this grand festival of Hindus in its full vibration. If you are in the Southern part of India, it would be fine you reach the banks of Aluva River. Aluva is a town in Ernakulam district in Kerala. Please do come and be part of the grand celebration with joy and devotion.

© 2013 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      7 months ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you Chitraji for your nice words. Your visit and comments appreciated.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      7 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great article about Maha Shivratri! Well presented hub, with nice videos!

      I am sure, those who don’t know about this festival, would be enlightened. There is so much positive energy in the atmosphere, with almost everyone celebrating this auspicious day.

      Celebrations are on, and I wish you and your family a Shubh Maha Shivratri.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Eiddwen,

      People like you boost my spirit to write more on topics like this. Sure, I will come with more hubs on Hindu culture, tradition and particularly about the Indian society. Keep on watching please. Thank you very much for your support.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      5 years ago from Wales

      Thank you for sharing this great hub with us. I now look forward to many more by you.

      Eddy.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)