Today is the day when the whole nation immerse into Shiv bhakti, Mahashivratri is being celebrated across the country, with people queuing outside temples to worship Lord Shiva, known as the “destroyer of evil”. Mahashivratri is celebrated on March 4 and will be extended till March 5, as celebrations will continue till late at night and many others will also hold a fast for the entire day. Long queues of devotees were seen at different temples of Lord Shiva since the break of dawn,According to the Hindu almanac, Mahashivratri is celebrated on the 13th night and the 14th day of the Phalguna month, which is somewhere between February and March.
The festival is also known as “the great night of Shiva” and it involves “overcoming darkness and ignorance. Mahashivratri was the day when Shiva drank poisonous negativity to protect the world.
Devotees of Lord Shiva, after completing their morning rituals, observe a day-long fast for Maha Shivratri and only eat food the next day. A number of activities are also carried out by them on this day.
The importance of the day-
Maha Shivratri, which literally translates to “great night of Shiva” is a Hindu festival largely celebrated in India as well as in Nepal. The festival is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Maagha according to the Hindu calendar. The day is celebrated to venerate Lord Shiva, an important deity in Hindu culture.
There are many mythological legends associated with this day. According to a popular legend, when a hunter could not find anything to kill for his food in a forest, he waited on the branch of a Woodapple tree. In order to attract deer, he started throwing the leaves of the tree on the ground, unaware that there was a Shiva Lingam beneath the tree. Pleased with the Woodapple leaves and the patience of the hunter, it is believed that Lord Shiva appeared in front of the hunter and blessed him with wisdom. From that day onwards, the hunter stopped eating meat.