Maha Shivaratri is a day when people across India pray to Lord Shiva. It is a major festival in the country, as it marks the overcoming of darkness and ignorance in life. Different rituals and traditions are practiced in different states, but going to the temple of the deity is a constant in all places. There are certain steps that one should follow while offering prayers on this day. Also read: Here are 4 dishes that you must try during the festivities
>> Most people prefer to fast on Maha Shivratri to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. It is said that the fast should be broken only on the next day of Shivratri before Chaturdashi Tithi ends.
>> According to the ancient texts, the puja needs to be performed with certain things that are essential. These include rose water, yogurt, ghee, milk, honey, sugar, water, and sandalwood. The puja should be performed at least once in the entire day.
>> The Shiva Linga should be adorned with garlands of bilva leaves. There is a belief that the bilva leaves help the lord keep calm and less angry.
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>> Post this, kumkum and sandalwood are applied and incense sticks are lit. Then other items like flowers, vibhuti and more, are offered to the lord.
>> While doing the puja, one should chant, “Om Namah Shivaya”.
Different legends describe the significance of Maha Shivaratri. According to one legend, this is the night when Lord Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction. According to another legend, this is the night when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married and the Lord reached her place with an army of demons. No matter what the significance, the festival is celebrated with fanfare in different parts of India, and witnesses long queues outside temples of devotees who wish to seek blessings from the almighty and get their prayers answered.