Maha Shivaratri Date in the current year: March 7, 2016

Maha Shivaratri Maha Shivaratri is an annual Hindu festival that honors Lord Shiva, one of the primary forms of God in Hinduism. It is celebrated in many countries around the world and is considered a public holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maurutius.

Shiva is one of the most popular Hindu deities. There are several feasts dedicated to him. Maha Shivaratri (“the Great Night of Shiva”) commemorates the day he was married to Parvati, the Hindu goddess of fertility, love and devotion. It is the most important holiday dedicated to Shiva, hence the epithet “Maha” (“Great”). The festival typically falls in late February or early March as per the Gregorian calendar.

Maha Shivaratri is usually celebrated by all-day fasting, mediation, prayer, and offerings to Lord Shiva. Thousands of devotees attend the most famous Shiva temples in India and Nepal to celebrate the holiday together. They bathe at sunrise, put on clean clothing and carry ports of water to the temple to bathe the Shiva Linga (a representation of Shiva used for worship).

One of the most popular celebrations is held in the Indian town of Mandi. Mandi Shivaratri Fair starts on the day of Maha Shivaratri and lasts for seven days. It is considered an international festival as people from all other the world come to visit and partake in the festivities.

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Religious Holidays


India, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka


Maha Shivaratri, Lord Shiva, religious holiday, Hindu festival, Hinduism