Maha Shivaratri is predominantly a Hindu festival that happens every year in honour of Lord Shiva. The day marks the marriage day of Shiva. The day falls right at the end of the winter (late February or beginning of March) or just before the arrival of summer. A major festival for the Hindus, prayers are offered to overcome darkness and ignorance in one’s life. In 2020, the auspicious occasion will be celebrated on the 21st of February.
Maha Shivaratri Holiday 2020
|21 February 2020||Friday||Maha Shivaratri|
About Maha Shivaratri Festival
Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival that honors God Shiva. It is also called as ‘The Night of Shiva” and is celebrated in a majority of Indian states. Every year, the festival falls on the moonless 14 night of the new moon in the month of Phalgun, which correspondences to the months of March and February according to the English calendar. Devotees discern day and night fast and make ritual worship of Lord Shiva.
How is Maha Shivaratri celebrated in India?
The auspicious occasion is celebrated in different ways in different cultures and regions. In the state of Tamil Nadu, the day is observed in the Annamalai temple. Devotees of Lord Shiva partake in a 14-kilometre barefoot walk Girivalam or Giri Pradakshina around Shiva’s temple located on the top of the hill.
The town of Mandi hosts the Mandi fair where devotees from all over India pour in. It is believed that around 200 Hindu Gods and Goddesses assemble at Mandi on this day.
In West Bengal, unmarried women travel to Tarakeswar, a holy place, to offer prayers that’s dedicated to seeking an ideal husband.
Women devotees bathe the Shivalinga with milk and offer prayers for the well-being of their sons and husbands. As per the Hindu mythology, Parvati, the wife of Shiva, offered prayers on this day to ward off any evil that may harm her husband. Since then, Maha Shivaratri is considered as an auspicious day for women.
Early in the morning, devotees take bathe in the Ganges or any other equivalent waterbody that’s considered holy. A purification ritual like worshipping the sun, Shiva, and Vishnu is observed. After taking a bathe, devotees wear clean clothes and carry pots of water to the temple to pour water on the Shivalinga.
Devotees decorate the linga with garlands and flowers. Fruits and incense sticks are also offered. All these gestures to Shiva is done to protect the world from all that’s evil and for the well-being of humanity.
List of Monthly Holidays
Maha Shivaratri Holiday 2021-2028
|11 March 2021||Thursday||Maha Shivaratri|
|01 March 2022||Tuesday||Maha Shivaratri|
|18 February 2023||Saturday||Maha Shivaratri|
|08 March 2024||Friday||Maha Shivaratri|
|26 February 2025||Wednesday||Maha Shivaratri|
|15 February 2026||Sunday||Maha Shivaratri|
|06 March 2027||Saturday||Maha Shivaratri|
|23 February 2028||Wednesday||Maha Shivaratri|
Best Indian Places To Visit During The Maha Shivaratri Holiday 2020
- Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: The city of Varanasi has one of the most significant Shiva temples in India. So, the festival is celebrated with great devotion in the city. Millions of devotees across the nation visit this destination to celebrate the festival. Consider this place if you are planning to go on a holiday trip.
- Haridwar, Uttarakhand: Haridwar is famous for its temples and ghats. Tourists can also visit various other temples and enjoy river rafting in Rishikesh.
- Mandi, Himachal Pradesh: Mandi has the temple of Bhootnath and it hosts the biggest Maha Shivaratri celebrations in India. This tradition was started by the royal family of the city of Mandi 500 years ago.
- Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh: The festival of Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with extreme eagerness in Andhra Pradesh. Devotees observe fast and chant mantras to mark this auspicious festival.
- Guwahati, Assam: Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, attracts thousands of devotees on the festival. Umananda Temple is the notable temple in the city.
- Puri, Orissa: Puri is also a quite famous Indian destination to visit during the Maha Shivaratri holiday 2019. Consider this place as well.
List of Trading Holidays 2019
Symbols of Shivaratri Festival
As per the Shiva Purana, the Maha Shivaratri worship should incorporate the following six items:
- Bael leaves – Bael leaves signify the purification of the soul.
- Sindoor: It denotes virtue.
- Food items: Rice and fruits are offered to Lord Shiva to entrust a long life and accomplishment of desires.
- Dhoop: Incense sticks are sparked before the God to obtain wealth.
- Betel leaves: Betel leaves denote satisfaction.
These five items are an indispensable part of the festival.
Holiday Destinations In India
Maha Shivaratri Holiday 2019
|2019||04 March||Monday||Maha Shivratri||Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Jammu Kashmir, Orissa, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh|
|2020||21 February||Friday||Maha Shivratri||Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Jammu Kashmir, Orissa, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh|
How Is The Festival Celebrated - Maha Shivaratri
Like mentioned earlier, the festival of Maha Shivaratri is usually celebrated in the month of February and March on the Gregorian calendar. The festival is considered to be the holiest by Hindus across the country. It differs from other Hindu festivals that are usually celebrated in the daytime. The worship and prayers of Lord Shiva through night are supposed to honor the time Lord Shiva saved the world from ignorance, which is signified by darkness. On the festival day, Hindus fast all day long and they offer betel tree leaves, fruits and flowers to the Lord.
Maha Shivaratri Holiday 2018
When is this festival celebrated in 2018? For the year 2018, this great festival is celebrated on 14 February, which falls on Wednesday.
|2018||13 February||Tuesday||Maha Shivaratri||Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Jammu Kashmir|
|14 February||Wednesday||Maha Shivaratri||Orissa, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh|