Maha Shivratri is considered one of the most auspicious festivals in India and is celebrated across the country with great zeal. Maha Shivratri is marked every year on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi in the month of Falgun.
This year, Maha Shivratri or the 'greatest night of Lord Shiva' is being observed on 1 March, 2022.
History, significance and how the day is celebrated
The special occasion of Maha Shivratri celebrates the union Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, according to Hindu mythology. On this day, devotees of Lord Shiva throng temples in large numbers and offer prayers.
On this day, devotees observe a day-long fast and sit to perform the puja during midnight. They pay an ode to Lord Shiva and offer milk to the Shivaling. Devotees also seek blessings from Mahadev to live a healthy and prosperous life.
Maha Shivratri Puja timings
As per a report by The Quint, the Maha Shivratri puja will be observed in four phases over a period of two days. The first phase will begin on 1 March from 6:21 pm to 9:27 pm, while the second phase of puja will take place from 6:21 pm to 9:27 pm. The third phase will start on 2 March from 12:33 am to 3:39 am and the fourth phase of puja will be held from 3:39 am to 6:45 am.
Devotees need to take a bath ahead of performing the puja or visiting a temple. Purify your house, particularly the area where the puja will be performed by sprinkling Gangajal. Light a brass or an earthen lamp. Sit down calmly in front of Lord Shiva idol and invite him to accept your offerings. Chant 'OM' or 'OM - Namah Shivaya' while doing the Abhishek with water on Shivaling.
Offerings such as milk, curd, honey and ghee can be used during the puja. Light incense sticks and use Bel or Vilva leaves as well as flowers while offering prayers. Fruits and dry fruits can also be offered to Lord Shiva during the puja. Meditate for sometime and you can conclude the puja by singing the Shiva Aarti and seeking blessings from the deity.