One of the most popular festivals in the country, Maha Shivratri is the ‘Night of the Lord Shiva’. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is believed to be the third God of the Trinity. Often considered one of the most revered gods of the Hindu religion, the day is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva. It is believed that on this auspicious day Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati.
Maha Shivratri in Delhi fast includes devotees fasting during the day and keeping a vigil during the night. The festival involves enchanting verses from sacred Hindu texts, offering fruits and flowers to the deity, ringing bells in the temple and offering prayers to the god and most importantly presenting leaves and milk to the Shiv lingam. Devotees visit the Delhi temples to pay homage to Lord Shiva.
The Panchakshara Mantra is recited by the devotees as it is believed that those who recite the mantra on this special day will be freed from all sins. The recitation will free one from the cycle of birth and death. Women offer prayers on this day to attain marital bliss and a perfect husband.
On this auspicious day, the Shiv lingam is bathed in the panchagavya which is a combination of five different offerings. Other offerings made to Lord Shiva include five kinds of food which symbolize immortality, milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar. Some devotees are believed to offer Dhatura as well as Jati.
Time to celebrate
According to the Hindu calendar, the fourteenth day in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Phalguna is celebrated as Maha Shivratri. People all across the country especially Delhi celebrate this day as one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals.