Maha Shivratri 2024 – Date, Muhurat, Shivratri Katha, Procedure and Significance

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The Night of Mahadev, Rudradev, Shambhunath, Bholenath, Shankara, the all in one Great Lord Shiva!

|| ॐ नमः शिवाय ||

The great night of Rudra Dev Maheshwara, our own Lord Shiva Shankara in 2024 falls on 8th March 2024. The auspicious night of Chaudas or the 14th day of the Krishna Paksha (dark phase of the lunar time) of the month of Phaguna or Magh (which coincides with February or March of the Georgian Calendar) is the great night of Mahashivratri. The bhakti filled and divine night of Mahashivratri 2024 falls on 8th March 2024. 

This festival, widely celebrated in the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism, honors Lord Shiva as the ultimate divine. Maha Shivratri marks the night when devotees observe rituals, pour offerings, and stay awake to seek blessings. The festival holds various customs and traditions across Indian states, with each region celebrating in its unique way. The significance of Maha Shivratri lies in the historical and mythological events associated with Lord Shiva, making it a revered occasion for millions. Devotees follow diverse rituals, including fasting, performing puja, and participating in night vigils or Jagran, aiming to purify themselves and receive blessings from Lord Shiva. The festival is not only a spiritual event but also a reflection of India’s rich cultural and traditional heritage.

Shivratri: Shiva Being Close To Devotees Every Month

Lord Shiva blesses the devotees on every 13th or 14th of the dark phase of the moon every month i.e. Teras or Chaudas of Krishna Paksha of every month. 

One particular fact to keep in mind is that the Teras or Chaudas of Krishna paksha of every month is the darkest night before Amavasya or New Moon. Lord Shiva is considered as the start and the end, which as per Hindu philosophical though represents the Adi and the Anant aspects of the universe. The pitch darkness of Chaudas represents the same nothingness from which the universe began and will collapse ino. That is why every thirteenth or fourteenth night of the period of the dark phase of moon is considered to be the night of Lord Shiva. 

Shivratri is the celebration of the nothingness that is Shiva. The main difference of every other festivals celebrated in India and Shivaratri is that Shivratri is the celebrated by meditating and practicing self-reflection as opposed to celebrating it with other people or by interacting with the outside world. Thus, by connecting with the inner self and inner world you connect with Shiva himself and get close to Lord Shiva. 

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What is Mahashivratri and What is the Story Behind Mahashivratri?

Mahashivratri is the celebration of Lord Shiva, Rudra, Damru Wala, Neelkanth, Bholenath, Somnath, Bhootnath, Vishweshwara, Nageshwar, Mahakaleshwar, Bhole Baba, Jatadhari, Gangadhar, Shankara, Nataraja, Mahadeva, Adi Yogi, or the Omkar himself. Mahashivratri 2024 date is on 8th March 2023. Mahashivratri is the celebration of all the different forms, aspects, activities and nature of Lord Shiva. 

The legend of Mahashivratri is described in different Puranas like Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, Padma Purana, etc. The legends describe Mahashivratri as the night when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati became one, when Shiva performs the divine dance the Tandava and destroy all that is evil, darkness, and ignorance. Therefore, the main difference between Shivratri and Mahashivratri is that Shivratri is the celebration of Shiva and Gauri, but Mahashivratri is the night when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati became one and tied the marital knot. 

The Great Night of Lord Shiva, the Mahashivaratri is the tribute and celebration and marriage of Gauri and Shankar. As per some puranas, Shiva performed the divine Tandava on this particular night that fell on the Fourteenth day of Krishna Paksha. Another legend says that the Great Night of Lord Shiva is the night when he drank the Halahala poison that emerged from the Samudra manthan and saved the entire world. 

Because of the many great deeds performed by Shiva especially during the chaturdashi of Phalguna or Magha month, the celebration of Mahashivratri is different from Shivratri. 

Maha Shivratri gets its name from the Sanskrit word “Maha,” meaning great, where Shiva is our deity, and “Ratri” means night. It is also known as the Great Night of Shiva when we offer our prayers to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva remains within each of us; he is the only spirit in us. On this day, we express our gratitude to him, thanking him for protecting us and providing security.

Maha Shivratri is also associated with dance and other art forms, having a special connection with ‘Nataraj.’ Lord Shiva is worshiped in the name of Nataraja, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The term ‘Natraja’ has its roots in Sanskrit, where ‘Nata’ means ‘dance,’ and ‘Raja’ means ‘king.’ According to historical evidence, the dance performed by Nataraja is referred to as “Ananda Tandava” and “Rudra Tandav.” Nataraja is surrounded by a circle of fire representing our universe, with all four hands on the ring of fire.

Each hand holds significance for mankind. The upper right-hand holds the “Damru,” representing the prehistoric sounds of the creation of life on Earth and the elapsing of time. The lower right hand is in “Abhaya Mudra,” a symbol of righteousness showing the correct path to humankind. The upper left hand has a flame as a symbol of destruction, and the lower left hand points towards his feet in “Gaja hasta mudra,” representing emancipation.

In respect of Lord Nataraja, many cultural events are organized on the day of Maha Shivaratri, some of which are prominent at major Hindu temples like Konark, Khajuraho, Kattadakal, and many more. These dance and art forms are known as “Natyanjali or Natya Shastra,” and the organization of such events holds special significance on Maha Shivratri.

Many also believe that on this day, Lord Shiva took the form of the Shivalinga, which is worshiped as a symbol of Lord Shiva worldwide. Numerous such incidents are still considered reasons behind the Shiva festival.

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Celebrating Mahashivratri 2024: The Great Night of Lord Shiva

Having known the story behind Mahashivratri and understanding its significance it is easy to conclude that celebration of Mahashivratri is the time of ‘overcoming darkness and ignorance’. Of the 12 Shivratris, devotees celebrate Mahashivratri and one more shivratri in a year giving the impression that there are two shivratris in a year when there are actually 12. 

Mahashivratri is unique because it is one of the very few festivals celebrated in the night whereas all other festivals in India are celebrated during the day. Mahashivratri is the celebration that happens during the darkest phases of the night. 

Different Indian states celebrate this festival in their way and customs in which “Ujjain” in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh holds a special significance. A temple called “Mahakaleshwar” grandly holds the puja of Shivratri and this temple is assumed to be the residence of Lord Shiva. Like Ujjain, all other states also hold the puja in their way and with different names and cultures, Umananda temple in Assam’s capital Guwahati is another example. Many married women worship Shiva for a long life of their husbands whereas unmarried girls pray to get a husband like Lord Shiva. Not only women but men also pray to God on this day. In India its a tradition to keep fast on this day for 24 hours as per their convenience. Some keep Nirjala (without water) Vratam and some have fruits and other sweetened juices.

On the night of Mahashivratri, the devotees perform puja and vrat i.e. fasting and celebrate for the whole night. Different pujas paying tribute to the Lord Shiva are performed that night. The most auspicious and widely performed puja is the Rudra Abhishekam Puja. The celebration consists of the devotees performing meditation and thinking deeply on the virtues of benevolence, forgiveness, honesty, and connecting with the inner self. By connecting with the inner self you connect with the element of universe within you the Great Lord Shiva himself. 

Many bhakts also perform Shata Rudrabhishekam Puja, the puja that is performed specially at Mahabaleshwar. If you wish to perform the Rudrabhishekam or Shata Rudrabhishekam Puja you can visit or call PujaNPujari through our website. PujaNPujari is a proud provider of puja services in Bangalore including online purohit booking in Bangalore. 

Celebrate Mahashivratri 2024 on 8th March 2024 with the complete faith and devotion that you can muster. Connect with you0r inner self and connect with Lord Shiva himself. The more you connect with Shiva the more you overcome darkness and ignorance. 

One of the interesting facts associated with this festival is consuming bhang mixed with sweetened milk as prasad which is also known as “Thandai” by Shiva followers. In some places, smoking marijuana is also practiced everywhere.

Mahashivratri 2024 Panchang

Mahashivratri 2024

Rudra Abhishek Puja: Prayer to The Great Lord Rudra

Rudra is one of the names of Lord Shiva. Rudra Abhishek Puja is normally performed in the Shravana month, falling naturally in July-August. If you perform this puja instead of your daily puja, there is a greater chance of receiving blessings from Lord Shiva. Mainly, the Rudra Abhishekam Puja  is done with six items, as given below:

  • Jalabishekam: According to sacred books, performing Jalabhishek to Lord Shiva will give you good Vridhi and fulfill your wishes.
  • Palabhishekam: If a devotee pours milk on the Shivling and worships Lord Shiva, that person will be rewarded with longevity.
  • Shahad Abhishek: Shahad means honey. If a devotee devotes the Shivling with honey, they will live a long life with freedom from all problems and misfortunes, leading to a happy life.
  • Panchamrit Abhishek: Panchamrit contains five elements like milk, curd, sugar, honey, and ghee. Performing Abhishekam with these Panchamrit ingredients will bring more wealth and prosperity.
  • Ghee Abhishekam: Performing the Ghee Abhishekam helps get rid of all illnesses or physical problems.
  • Dahi Abhishek: It aids childless couples in having a child.

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Customs and Traditions: Following Practices to Reach Bhola

Depending on regional differences, different states celebrate this festival in their unique ways and beliefs. Specifically, on this day, people worship the Shiva Lingam as a symbol of faith in Lord Shiva. Many women observe fast on this day and pray for their husbands’ long life. Unmarried women observe fast to have a husband like him, as he is considered the best husband. Even males observe fast on this day to make their dreams come true. Observing a fast on Shivratri is very auspicious and widely celebrated in different Shiva temples all over India. In many temples, night Jagran is organized for the worshipers. The whole night is spent observing fast and singing songs to praise their deity. It is strongly believed that Lord Shiva comes to see his followers in a form that can be accommodated by humans. After having the prasad in the morning, they break their fast and have food. This festival is very auspicious for all Hindus worldwide, and they celebrate it in their style.

In Jammu Kashmir, it is celebrated in the name of Hara-Ratri and lasts for three weeks or 21 days. Two pots of water symbolizing Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati are kept and filled with water and walnuts. After three days, these walnuts are distributed in the form of prasad to everyone. After 21 days, gifts and sweets are given to family members to celebrate the festivities.

In West Bengal, sand bought from the river Ganges is used to make four idols of Lord in the form of Shiva Lingam. Each of them is worshiped in four periods of the day. In the first period, one Shivling is poured with milk; in the second period, the Shivling is poured with curd; in the third, ghee is used, and in the fourth period, honey is used. The next morning, food is offered to the pandits and purohits, and the fast is broken.

In Madhya Pradesh, it’s a tradition to have a bath in the Shiv Sagar Tank. And many such traditions are followed for decades with beliefs and faith.

In Coimbatore, at Isha Yoga Center, Mahashivratri has been celebrated with great pomp, and an even larger number of people witness and participate in the event online.

In Bangalore, celebrating the Shiva Tattva in oneself is called Shivratri. Ratri means night, the time for rest, when everything becomes quiet and peaceful. Shivratri is not only resting for the body but also for the mind and ego. – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Complete Process of Performing Puja During Shivaratri

The procedure of performing Shivratri puja differs based on local customs and faith, but the essence remains common. As per decade-long traditions, on this day, devotees visit the temple and perform the Shivalinga Abhishekam by pouring milk, curd, honey, and other sacred things. This process is known as Abhishekam. Some special fruits like ‘ber’ and ‘bael leaves’ are also offered, as they are thought to be the favorites of the deity. Throughout the day and night, chants of “Om Namah Shivay” can be heard everywhere. In temples, priests perform the Abhishekam every 4 hours, and after Jagran, the fast is broken by everyone.

Observing fasts on spiritual occasions is one of the most important traditions of Indian culture, be it for any religion, and it holds significance in Hinduism at its most. We celebrate so many festivals like Navratri, Ganesha Chaturthi, Teej puja, Karwa Chauth, and many more by following diverse rituals, but one thing in common is observing fasts.

Fasting is basically striving oneself from delicacies and other fancies of the world and dedicating oneself towards the Almighty God. Being superstitious, we celebrate each of our festivals with enthusiasm, excitement, and remain very cautious about following each of our customs minutely. One such festival is Maha Shivaratri, assumed as the festival of Lord Siva. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated to offer prayers to Lord Shiva and is celebrated with great fervor and spiritualism to pay respect to the god.

People observe fasts and Jagran for the whole night, and then food is consumed the next morning. In Maha Shivaratri, extremism of spirituality is displayed, as “Nirjala fasting” is a common practice, when people don’t consume water for 24 hours, and the fast is broken the very next morning. The whole night bhajan, kirtan, and prayers are offered to please the god and to be blessed by his boons. Different regions celebrate this festival in their ways and beliefs, out of which Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, Bhootnatha temple in Mandi, and Tilbhandeshwar temple in Varanasi hold special importance. Every individual takes part in this festival and celebrates it with high energy, devotion, and passion.


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Masik Shivratri Puja Prasad

One of the most important and famous sweets of this festival is bhang-mixed sweets and Thandai. These are specially made sweets mixed with bhang and Thandai. It is a milkshake made by mixing milk with bhang, along with all kinds of dry fruits, sugar, curd, and jaggery. These sweets and milkshakes are called prasads and are distributed among Shiva devotees. Besides being aware of the side effects of bhang and bhang-mixed sweets, they are widely consumed by everyone as a tribute to Lord Shiva, as he is assumed to be a lover of BHANG. And it was also an option of extravagance for him.

This festival is celebrated by everyone in their own way, as per their convenience. Some observe Nirjala fasts, some observe fasts by having fruits, fruit juices; some may perform puja followed by the consumption of foods. In many places, it’s famous to be in Shiva temple for the whole night, offering prayers, dancing, and singing hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. On this day, it’s very auspicious to offer milk, datura, Bhang, and other puja items on the shiv linga, which pleases the lord and assures us health, wealth, and happiness.

Why Should We Stay Awake on the Night of Shivaratri?

Shivaratri or Maha Shivaratri is one of the most famous festivals for Hindus in which Lord Shiva is worshipped in all his forms. He is the only divine behind every existence in this universe and is treated as the maker as well as the destructor of every creation. Maha Shivaratri marks his day when people worship him and all his avatars in different forms. This festival is celebrated on the fourth night of the new moon in Krishna Paksha of Phalguna (March) month.

As per ancient history, this day is also said to be the association day of Goddess Parvathy and Lord Shiva, when they got married and Lord Shiva entered into Gruhastaasrama. It is said that this was the day when Lord Shiva drank the poison churned out during Samudra Manthan for the sake of humans, and from that day itself, he has another name as Neelkantha. Maha Shivratri marks the occurrence of 64 forms of Shiva linga all over the world when 64 Shivalings, which are the abode of Shiva, occurred on the Earth, and so this day is known as the great night of Shiva.

Shivaratri is celebrated all over India and Nepal by all men and women with the same fervor and excitement. Pouring of all essential items and prasads on shiv linga is important. Customs are followed, and these customs are followed by observing nirjala (not sipping water and food) fasts for the whole day and night. On this day, people remain awake the whole day and night. During the night jaguars or night vigils are observed.

Visiting temples in the night, performing dance, and singing hymns of Shiva have special importance. It is believed that while being awake for the whole night, we purify our sins and let the Lord bless us with His blessings and boons.

Every 5 hours, the shiv linga is worshipped and poured with the five sacred offerings of a cow, which include cow dung, milk, butter, Gowmutra or urine, and sour milk, which together is known as “Panchgavya.” Then the shiv linga is again poured with milk, honey, curd, sugar, and ghee. The devotees perform the puja and Archana the whole night, and then at 4 am, the final puja is done, after which the fast is broken.

Night vigils or Jagran on Maha Shivaratri hold importance all over India despite following different cultures and traditions because when it comes to worshiping, we Indians unite in our ways without any differences.”


In conclusion, Mahashivratri, the great night of Lord Shiva, holds immense significance in the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. Celebrated on the 14th day of the dark phase of the lunar month of Phaguna, falling on March 8, 2024, it is a festival that honors Lord Shiva as the ultimate divine. The rituals, fasting, and night vigils performed by devotees across India during Mahashivratri are a testament to their deep reverence for Lord Shiva. The celebration is not merely a spiritual event but also a reflection of India’s rich cultural heritage. While Mahashivratri is the most widely celebrated Shivratri, it’s noteworthy that Lord Shiva is revered every month on the 13th or 14th night, symbolizing the cyclic nature of life. The various forms of worship, such as Rudrabhishek Puja, and the unique customs in different states contribute to the festival’s diversity. Overall, Mahashivratri is a time for devotees to connect with their inner selves, overcome darkness and ignorance, and seek blessings from the great Lord Shiva.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why is Shivratri so powerful?

Ans: Mahashivratri, the great night of Lord Shiva is the day when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married. Therefore, it is the union of two big forces in nature. The nothingness of Nature combined with the energy that resides in all the living and non-living beings in the universe is a powerful combination. Due to this reason Mahashivratri is considered very powerful and most powerful among all the 12 Shivratris. 

  1. What is the story behind Mahashivratri?

Ans: According to the Puranic Legends Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on Mahashivratri. Their pious and holy union makes the night a powerful night. As per another legend, Lord Shiva performed the cosmic Tandava dance on the great night of Mahashivratri. Furthermore, as per some puranic sources, Mahadev drank the Halahal poison that emerged from the Samudra Manthan to save the world on Mahashivratri. 

  1. What is the difference between Mahashivratri and Shivratri?

Ans: Shivratri occurs every month and is the night before full moon night or Amavasya. It is a day of celebrating and connecting with Lord Shiva. But Mahashivratri occurs on the Chaturdashi of Kartika Paksha of Phalguna or Magh months as per the Hindu calendar and is associated with marriage of Shiva and Parvati. Mahashivratri 2024 date is 8th March 2024.

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