Mahashivratri in 2023: Date & Puja Muhurat
Mahashivratri is one of the important occasions for people who believe in spirituality. The name translates to “The Great Night of Shiva.” As the name suggests, the mega festival is dedicated to lord Shiva, the deity of death and destruction.
This major Hindu festival is celebrated on the Krishna Paksha of Phalguna month. Therefore, the date of this festival varies according to the Hindu calendar.
This festival is celebrated with extreme joy as the midnight puja is followed by fairs, feasting, and more. The festival is celebrated in the honor of Lord Shiva.
It is also considered that it is the night when the god Shiva performs Tandav, the dance of preservation, creation, and destruction.
The significance of this festival is associated with the meeting of Shiva and Shakti. They both are considered masculine and feminine energies that balance the world.
This article will talk about the significance of this festival and every other information about Mahashivratri in 2023 that you should know.
Significance of Mahashivratri
This festival is celebrated because Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati on this auspicious day. Hindu mythology also says that Lord Shiva had gone into deep meditation after Sati died.
Shiva waited for years for Sati’s reincarnation as Paravati, after which she became the Consort of Lord Shiva. Therefore, this festival is observed on the 14th of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalguna.
This festival usually falls in the month of February or March. But Mahashivratri in 2023 will be celebrated in February.
In Hinduism, this festival is counted as the day of overcoming darkness and ignorance. Devotees follow strict fasting and get involved in deep puja vidhi to pray to lord Shiva.
They believe that this is the day to let go of their sins and begin the journey to purity. Hindus also have faith that worshipping Lord Shiva with pure intention can help one to achieve Moksha (salvation).
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Why Do We Celebrate Mahashivratri?
Amid the rushed life, we often forget what keeps us going and what our source of energy is. With the festival Mahashivratri, we are reminded of the basis of our existence- Shiva.
But there are more than one reasons why we observe this festival. There are various beliefs that surround different stories. Here are a few:
- The major reason behind celebrating this festival is the marriage of Shiva and Paravati. So, it is the festival of the union of Shiva and Shakti.
- When Goddess Ganga landed from heaven with powerful force, Lord Shiva accepted her in his matted locks. Shiva released Ganga in several streams on Earth and saved Earth from major destruction. On Mahashivratri, Shivalinga is bathed with sacred water as a tribute to the god.
- Another belief says that during the journey of gods and demons in the ocean, searching to obtain ambrosia, the first thing that emerged was froth- with a black sticky texture. Lord Shiva recognized that it was the toxin that could destroy the universe and hence he swallowed the toxin to save mankind. Therefore, Maha Shivaratri puja is celebrated to honor Lord Shiva’s sacrifice for the world.
- Also, people believe that God Shiva appeared as Lingodhbhav Moorthi at midnight. Hence, on Mahashivratri, people stay up all night to worship the god.
Mahashivratri in 2023
Mahashivratri in 2023 will be celebrated on February 18th, Saturday. Mahashivratri holds the biggest importance among the 12 Shivratris observed in a year.
It usually falls in February or March according to the position of the planets. According to the Hindu calendar, the festival is observed on the 14th day of the month, which is one day before the new moon’s day.
Ensure that you perform the rituals and worship Lord Shiva during Shubh Muhurat only.
Read below the Maha Shivratri 2023 date and time:
- Maha Shivratri in 2023 Date – 18th February
- Day- Saturday
- Nishita Kaal Puja Time- 19th February 2022, 12:09 AM to 1:00 AM
- Duration- 50 minutes
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How is it Celebrated?
People in India celebrate Mahashivratri by following a fast for 24 hours, singing devotional songs, and listening to the stories of Lord Shiva.
The rituals of the puja begin right in the morning as devotees wake up early to take a ritual bath in a holy river. Following that, they get dressed in fresh clothes and head to Shiva temples near their homes to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
Married women observe a fast and indulge in prayers to get blessings for their husbands. On the other hand, unmarried women/girls keep a fast and worship Lord Shiva to be blessed with a husband like Shiva.
In temples, several rituals are followed to worship Shiv ji. They bathe Shivalinga with milk, ghee, honey, water, sugar, and yoghurt.
This ritual is performed four times through the night and amidst this, the priests and devotees chant the sacred mantra “Om Namah Shivaya.”
Devotees also offer white colour flowers, Bilva leaves, Gangs Jal, sandalwood paste, and sacred ash to Shiva.
Temples also organise jaagran, which involves priests and devotees singing devotional songs and honouring Lord Shiva all night long. They break their fast the next day after a bath by eating prasad.
Mahashivratri holds different importance for everyone. However, it is celebrated all over India with great joy. All the devotees observe this festival with a common mindset- “overcoming ignorance and darkness.”
This “ratri” is therefore the embracing of darkness and emptiness and patiently waiting for the light to return.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is Mahashivratri celebrated?
This festival is celebrated with the belief that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Both Shiva and Parvati symbolize strength, love, and togetherness. Hence, the festival is known to be the festival of love, passion, and togetherness in a marriage.
2. What is the difference between Shivratri and Mahashivratri?
The Hindu calendar observes 12 Shivratris a year, which is celebrated every month. However, Mahashivratri is celebrated once a year during the month of February or March and it holds the greatest importance of all.
Shivratri is observed 14th day of every Lunar month and is known as ‘Masik Shivratri.’ On the other hand, Mahashivratri takes place on Krishna Paksha of Phalguna month.
3. When is Maha Shivaratri in 2023?
The Maha Shivaratri 2023 will be observed on February 18th, Saturday.
4. Why do girls keep fast on Shivratri?
Girls keep fast on Shivratri to be blessed with a husband like Lord Shiva. He is considered an ideal husband and hence women and unmarried girls observe fast with purity and devotion.
5. How many times does Mahashivratri come in a year?
Mahashivratri is celebrated only once a year in the month of February or March. According to Hindu Calender, it is celebrated in the month of Phalguna, on the fourteenth day of Krishna Paksha.