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Shivaratri is a sacred occasion, considered auspicious for the worship of Lord Shiva. Shivaratri literally means the Night of Shiva. Masik Shivaratri occurs on the 14th night of the dark fortnight or Krishna Paksha, which also happens to be the night before Amavasya (New Moon day). The greatest of such monthly Shivaratris is Maha Shivaratri, which falls in the Hindu month of Phalgun or the Tamil month of Masi (February–March).
Masik Shivaratri is considered the ideal day to worship Lord Shiva and seek his eternal blessings for inner peace. Also known as Maas Shivaratri or Mini Shivaratri, the day symbolizes the convergence of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. It is an ideal day to worship Lord Shiva to seek his graceful blessings. Masik Shivaratri is celebrated every month on 14th Waning Moon (Chaturdashi) of the Krishna Paksha (Moon’s waning phase). When this falls on a Tuesday, it is considered highly auspicious.
Both married women and unmarried women keep fasting and praying to the Supreme Lord on this day. Married women fast for the good health and welfare of their husbands. Unmarried women worship to Lord Shiva to find their life partners.
According to mythology, Shivaratri is celebrated to commemorate the selfless act of Lord Shiva to save the world by drinking the deadliest poison, which came out during the churning of the Milky Ocean (Samudra Manthan). When the Devas (celestial beings) and Asuras (demons) were churning the Milky Ocean, one out of the 14 things that came out was a pot of deadly poison. To save the universe from its effect, Lord Shiva drank it. However, Goddess Parvati stopped the poison in Shiva’s throat, which turned his throat into blue color. This earned him the name “Neelkanth.” Shivaratri is celebrated to commemorate this significant event.
Another legend says that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on Shivaratri. It is also believed that only on a Shivaratri, Lord Shiva manifested as Shiva Lingam.
The typical ritual that is followed on a Masik Shivaratri is to observe fasting throughout the day. Some devotees end the fast on the next morning after Shiva Pooja. People visit nearby Shiva temples or perform Shiva Pooja at home. An idol of Lord Shiva or Shiva Lingam is worshipped by performing Abishekam (hydration Pooja) with holy water, milk, curd, ghee, honey, turmeric powder, Vibhuti (holy ash), and rosewater. Chanting “Om Nama Sivaya” is the surefire way to receive the Lord’s blessings.
Shivaratri comes typically once a month and 12 times a year. We, at AstroVed, have made a compilation of all such monthly Shivaratris and have presented a complete list for the year, including Maha Shivaratri, in our website for your easy reference. We request you to browse through the list, identify the dates, observe austerities, offer sincere prayers to Lord Shiva and get his blessings for your welfare.
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.