Maha Shivaratri 2020: Hindus Across India Observe Lord Shiva Festival Today
This year, Maha Shivaratri will be celebrated on February 21 across India. Shiva, the god of destruction, is worshiped on this day.
Devotees performs rituals on a shivling, an idol symbolic of lord Shiva, during Shivratri festival in Ahmedabad. (Image: AP)
Shivaratri is observed by Hindus on the 14th day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon. Hence Shivaratri is celebrated throughout the year but the Maha Shivaratri, which falls in the month of Maagha or Phalguna (February-March), is of great religious importance.
This year, Maha Shivaratri will be celebrated on February 21 across India. Shiva, the god of destruction, is worshipped on this day.
How is Maha Shivaratri celebrated?
People keep fasts, stay up all night to chant devotional songs. Known to be one of the most easy-to-please gods, Shiva is believed to be happy with devotees if they offer him woodapple leaves, cold water and milk with utmost devotion.
Temples of Lord Shiva are decorated on this day and is visited by many disciples. In Ujjain, one of the 12 jyotirlingas, people bring out processions on the road and hail the greatness of Shiva.
Why is Maha Shivaratri celebrated?
Shiva is part of holy trinity in Hindu mythology, along with Brahma and Vishnu, and is also called Maha Ishwar (Great God). On Maha Shivaratri, it is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married. The wedding is celebrated on the midnight of Shivaratri.
Many married women observe fast for the entire day, praying for the longevity of their husbands.
According to popular belief, anyone who utters the name of Shiva during this period with purity gets liberated from the cycle of birth and death, and achieves moksha (enlightenment).
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