When is Maha Shivaratri in 2018? It’s happened in February or March, in the last winter lunar cycle. Another name is «the great night of Shiva» a big day of honor of the god Shiva. On this time Shiva made “Tandava”. The prefix «Maha» we can understand as a «great chief». All year it is celebrated «Shivaratri», but Maha Shivaratri the holiest holiday by Hindus.
Suchwise, in the Hindu scriptures (especially in Skanda Purana), you can find 4 types of Shivaratri:
Nitya Shivaratri (every night) Masa Shivaratri the 14th lunar day (Chaturdasi) waning moon (Krishna Paksha) every month Magha-Pratham Adi Shivaratri (within the first 13 days of the lunar month of the Magician) Maha Shivaratri.
Believers read «Katha-stories», make Abhishek (prolonged, uninterrupted libation water Shivalinga), repeat the pray»Om Namah Shivaya»all day and much more. After the celebration, that usually continues all day, starting at the Fair on the shores of reservoirs.
For those believers who are not sleeping on the night of Shivaratri, god promised material prosperity and a place in paradise. Meditation in the festive night is 100 times stronger than the usual, which is connected with the Sun and Moon position. Lingam symbol of the holiday, the main and important form of Shiva. Most often it is standing upright cylinder with a hemisphere at the top. At the bottom a square (circle), which means the yoni «womb, the place of birth»).
Maha Shivaratri has celebrated in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and another place with a big Hindu quantity.
What day is Maha Shivaratri in 2018 for Indians?
It starting on the day of Shivaratri after sunrise and not stop all night. All day Saivites carried out at the altar, tirelessly repeating the prayers, mantras, hymns.
Believers are fasting, forbidden food and drink, even prasad Shivaratri. All the food is intended for the following day. Hindus take part in the all-night vigil Jagran (Jaa gran). Shiva will release from all sins and from the endless circle of rebirth if the rituals are observed.
Shaivites conduct a ritual bath in the holy river Ganges, put on the new dress and visit the Shiva temple. There they presented him the milk, water, fruit, incense and so on.
The churches often come with their entire families for a long time waiting in line to perform puja. People create a religious and pious atmosphere by singing bhajans and mantras «Om Namah Shivaya». In Shiva temples, ring bells and a lot of lights and garlands of lamps in large temples are the bands (brass and percussion).
Maha Shivaratri activities
Tourist and regular Indians can visit festivals decorated with flowers and colorful lights, fairs next to Hindu temples in whole India. Temples usually covered with beautiful vivid decorations. The biggest event held in town Mandi, that has 81 temples. Popular Temple with Maha Shivratri festival is – Mahakaleshwar in a center of India. In the south of India, Vishvanatha Temple has the most attractive events. To understand the better meaning of the holiday, you can learn legends about Maha Shivratri.
One legend tells about a pot of poison that coming from the sea, and Shiva drinks it but doesn’t swallow to save all alive creatures. Because of this evil poison, his throat turns to blue.
The second story tells about a man, lost in the forest while picking up firewoods. For security, he climbed a tree. And to not fall asleep, he tore out the leaf on the tree, repeating the name of Shiva. Shiva heard this ritual and admired it, that’s why the night singing and traditions with betel leaves are relevant to this day.
Maha Shivaratri means for people the coming of spring and flowers bloom. In Bangalore, there is well-known flowering plants and the «glass house.» Also, you can visit lake with the tropical bird. Another place is the Valley of Flowers Park in the part of West Himalayan.
If you will visit India in this holiday, you should learn when is Maha Shivaratri day 2018.
Legend of the holiday
About how did this celebration, steeped in stories? One of the most familiar states that Shivaratri is not anything like Shiva and Parvati marriage.
Legend of the Linga Purana says that in this night, Shiva appeared before Vishnu and Brahma in the form of the Lingam, not an anthropomorphic character, beginningless and endless.
That he asked Shiva on this day?
Women and sadhus with trepidation relate to the celebration. Indian Parvati asked about a successful marriage and beautiful children (as the spouse of Shiva, Parvati ideal husband), as well as on family well-being and prosperity.
Since Shiva protects ascetics, Sadhus (translated as «good man», often ascetics, saints, and yogis) believe their Shivaratri festival. In the name of Shiva sadhu drink than the day (then a day) bhangra cocktail made from milk, with cannabis and almonds. When is Maha Shivaratri in 2018? Calendar day — in 2018 is on Saturday, the 13th of February.
Finished prolonged meditation, prayer and tireless complex ceremonies, the Indians say they feel the cleansing of the mind from worldly thoughts. This night is a chance to relax, to gain spiritual experience, forget about the needs of the flesh. The mind should be left only the name of Shiva and constantly repeated prayers. That’s why so important to remember what is the date of Maha Shivaratri 2018, to join the activities.