Mahashivratri: The History Behind The Festival

 In Holidays, Maha shivratri, Travel

Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated with great pomp, grandeur, and excitement all across the country. The devotees of Lord Shiva celebrate Mahashivratri with great fervour and enthusiasm every year but do you know why we celebrate Mahashivratri? Let’s find out the history and the significance of this festival and also understand why it is celebrated with so much enthusiasm.

Why Do We Celebrate Mahashivratri?


There are many beliefs on why we celebrate Mahashivratri and they differ from each other. So let’s find out the story behind Mahashivratri. 

Some people are of the view that Mahashivratri is celebrated because it is on this day Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati got married, and the festival is celebrated to mark their holy union. 

Some are of the view that Mahashivratri marks the day when Lord Shiva drank the poison from the ocean to protect humankind from all evil spirits, darkness, and negativity. This is the reason why he was called Neelkanth. 

Some are of the view that Lord Shiva incarnated as Lord Rudra on the midnight of Mahashivratri, and performed the dance of creation, preservation, and destruction which was known as the Rudra Tandav amidst Lord Shiva’s devotees. Mahashivratri is one of the famous festivals in India celebrated with great zeal.

No matter what is the story behind Mahashivratri or why we celebrate Mahashivratri, altogether it is a celebration of the powers of Lord Shiva, who is the epitome of energy and power.

Significance Of Mahashivratri


The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with a lot of fervour and grandeur, and the festival is followed by folk dances, prayers, mantras, chants, music, etc. However, those who don’t know much about it, often wonder about the significance of this festival and how it is actually celebrated, and what are some of the customs and traditions that the devotees of Lord Shiva follow to please their God. 

People fast all day on the day of Mahashivratri and stay awake all night praying for prosperity, happiness, hope, and blessings of their Lord Shiva, after all, it is one of the most important festivals among the Hindus. 

Devotees who keep fast and refrain from consumption of food and water, which also proves to be healthy for the body. It is popularly believed that praying to Lord Shiva after fasting makes the Lord happy, and devotees leave no stone unturned when it comes to making their Lord satisfied.

If you are not a Hindu, then there are some interesting facts that you can learn about the Mahashivratri that include offerings given to Lord Shiva, which is also considered a form of worship. These offerings include bel leaves, honey, milk, fruits, etc. 

Devotees begin their day by bathing in the holy river Ganges, which is believed to have powers to get rid of one’s sins, and then visit the temples to pray and fast for the day while offering prayers to their Lord Shiva. Some pray for health, some pray for wealth, some pray for well-being, whereas some ask for forgiveness, in the hope that their Lord is listening to their calls and surely he will relieve them of their pain. Devotees chant Om Namah Shivaya, which brings prosperity and happiness and fulfillment of one’s wishes. 

Mahashivratri is just around the corner, and we are sure that must have something that you need to tell your Lord Shiva, so it is time that you be prepared for it in order to please your Lord and get your heartfelt desires fulfilled.

Suggested Read: Epic Journey To Mount Kailash

Date Of Mahashivratri 2024


This year Mahashivratri 2024 will be celebrated on 8th March, and if you haven’t witnessed the celebrations yet, then you should definitely watch the enthusiasm of the devotees and their love for their Lord Shiva.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mahashivratri

When is Maha Shivratri celebrated?

Mahashivratri is celebrated annually on the Dark half of the lunar month of Phalguna in order to honour the powers of Lord Shiva and also to celebrate his union with Maa Parvati. This year Mahashivratri 2024 is taking place on 8th March.

What are the customs and rituals associated with Mahashivratri?

There are numerous customs and rituals associated with Mahashivratri which include devotees fasting all day and praying all night to Lord Shiva to seek his blessings. Devotees participate in Jaagran all night visit Hindu temples and make several offerings including milk, flowers, honey, incense, fruits and so on.

Where are some significant places to celebrate Maha Shivratri?

Some of the best places to celebrate Mahashivratri 2024 are Nilkanth Mahadev in Haridwar, Bhootnath Temple in Himachal, Umananda Temple in Guwahati Assam, Tilbhandeshwar Temple in Varanasi, Lokanatha Temple in Odisha, Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gujarat, Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, and plenty other places where you can celebrate Mahashivratri.

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