Maha Shivaratri can be termed as the biggest festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. It could be termed as the biggest celebration of the night of Lord Shiva, this year Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on February 21 as per the Gregorian calendar.
The traditional Gregorian calendar dictates celebration of the festival on the Chaturdashi Tithi (fourteenth day) during Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Moon) in the month of Magha (as per the Amavasyant calendar) and the month of Phalguna (as per the Purnimant schedule).
The name of the months can be different, but the day ultimately remains the same.
The tradition dictates Lord Shiva to have first appeared in the form of a linga on this day.
He emerged as a massive beam of light after seeing Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, arguing about each other’s supremacy. And hence, to remind them that there’s someone more powerful, he asked them to find the source and the end of the beam.
Lord Vishnu after that took the form of a boar and dug the Earth while Lord Brahma transformed into a swan and flew upwards. After a relentless search, Lord Vishnu admitted defeat while Lord Brahma took the help of the Ketaki flower to give false testimony about his victory. Brahma’s deceit was then found out by Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva than cut one of his five heads with his trident and cursed him by saying that he wouldn’t be worshipped in temples.
Maha Shivratri is generally a celebration commemorating the marriage of Lord Shiva and Shakti.
But in the literal meaning, Maha Shivratri will mean the coming together of knowledge and energy. It would also mean the blending of Purusha (mindfulness) and Prakriti (nature).
Maha Shivratri 2020 Tithi and Puja Timings:
Chaturdashi Tithi begins at 5:50 AM on February 21 and ends at 7:32 AM on February 22.
- Nishita Kaal Puja (main puja) timings – 11:38 PM to 12:30 AM, February 22
- First Prahar – 5:31 PM to 8:47 PM
- Second Prahar – 8:47 PM to 12:04 AM, February 22
- Third Prahar – 12:04 AM to 03:20 AM, February 22
- Fourth Prahar – 3:20 AM to 06:37 AM, February 22
- Parana or time for breaking the fast – 6:37 AM to 7:32 AM, February 22