Bhubaneswar: Maha Shivaratri is a major festival in Hinduism annually observed in honour of Lord Shiva.
On this day devotees worship Lord Shiva, observe a strict fast and do various religious activities to please Lord Shiva. Devotees further believe that by pleasing Lord Shankara on the auspicious Shivaratri day, a person is absolved of past sins and is blessed with Moksha or salvation.
Shivratri is celebrated on the 14th day of every month, one day before the new moon. Among the 12 Shivratri’s celebrated in a year, Mahashivratri is the most important one generally celebrated in February or March depending upon the planetary position.
Maha Shivratri, which literally translates to ‘the greatest night of Shiva’ is one of the most splendidly celebrated festivals across the country. It celebrates the grand marriage of the lord of destruction, Shiva — with the goddess of fertility, love, and beauty — Parvati, who is also known as Shakti (power).
According to Hindu mythology, on the night of the marriage, Lord Shiva had a very diverse group of acquaintances including Hindu gods, goddesses, animals, and demons escorting him to the house of the goddess.
The duo of Shiv and Shakti is considered to be the epitome of love, power, and togetherness. The festival marking the initiation of their bond – ‘Maha Shivratri’ – is celebrated with great fervour across India.
Our culture, traditions, and festivals have a deeper meaning. All of them are associated with a specific divine energy. This divine energy is given a name and form for us to understand the virtues, qualities, and its blessings clearly. One among these energies, and the presiding energy, is Shiva.