Here are the auspicious timings of Mahashivratri prayers of 2017

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Also take a look at some of the real reasons behind the celebration of Mahashivratri, one of the biggest Hindu festivals in India.

The long weekend has commenced with celebrations of the auspicious Mahashivratri in tow. To be observed on February 24 this year, the festival holds extreme importance to Hindus across India, Nepal and some even in the West Indies.

In fact, did you know that as per the Hindu calendar the festival is celebrated on the new moon day of the month of Maghaa and is roughly translated as the 'great night of Shiva?'

While some commonly say that it is the night that celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati, there are many other theories that define this festival, some that you can share with your children.

Why do we celebrate Mahashivratri?

  • According to some scriptures, it is believed that Mahashivratri is celebrated to commemorate the day Lord Shiva saved the earth from the poison or vish that emerged from the Samudra Manthan. You may have also seen this many mythological series that Lord Shiva drank the pot of poison that turned his neck blue, giving him the monicker Neelkanth.
  • Another myth says that Mahashivratri is celebrated as the biggest Shivratri, out of the 12 Shivratris celebrated across the country.
  • It is also believed to be the night Lord Shiva married Parvati and also the night that he performed the Tandava, which is a vigorous cosmic dance that is the source of the creation, the preservation and the dissolution of the earth
  • Another myth says that Mahashivratri also commemorates the day Lord Shiva cursed Lord Brahma. The story says that Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were busy fighting with each other over their supremacy, when Lord Shiva created a massive fire running through the universe. While both, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu ran to reach the end of the the line of fire, Brahma resorted to a lie and this angered Lord Shiva who cursed Lord Brahma.

Auspicious timing of Mahashivratri prayers

As per the Hindu calendar of 2017, here are the auspicious timings to celebrate Mahashivaratri*:

  • Chaturdashi Tithi begins from= 21:38 pm on February 24, 2017
  • Nishita Kaal Puja Time = 12:10 am to 12:59 am on February 25
  • Parana Time = 06:40 am to 15:32 pm on February 25
  • Ratri First Prahar Puja Time = 18:29 PM to 21:32 pm,
  • Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time = 21:32 PM to 12:35 am
  • Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time = 2:35 am to 03:37 am
  • Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time = 03:37 am+ to 6:40 am
  • Chaturdashi Tithi ends on = 21:20 pm the next day (February 25)

How is Mahashivratri celebrated?

Celebrations for Mahashivratri begin early in the morning, when devotees flock Shiva temples across the country and worship the shivlinga. Women and men, both offer prayers to the linga and chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev.’ They also perform a special ritual bath on Shivalinga with milk, honey, sugar, bel leaves and flowers while chanting prayers.

Apart from the ritual bath, the following ceremonies are also performed during Mahashivratri:

  • Vermilion paste is offered to the linga once it is bathed in milk, curd, ghee, honey and bel leaves
  • Fruits such as banana, mango, ber or jujube fruit, and papaya are offered to the shivlinga after the bath
  • Earthen lamps (diya) and incense are lit around the linga

Once the puja is performed, the devotees observe a fast all day to honour Lord Shiva and seek his blessings. Since it is one of the most auspicious days for Hindus, it's a good idea to narrate mythological stories to your children, telling them about the great victories of Lord Shiva.

We hope you have a blessed Mahashivratri.

(*Timing information source: Zee News)

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(Images courtesy: Pixabay)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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