Mahashivaratri is celebrated by Hindus all over the by worshiping Lord Shiva and visiting Shiva temples. Hundreds of worshippers are flocking to Shiva temples around the country today to observe the festival.
Mahashivratri which literally translates as ‘the great night of Shiva’ is a day to worship Shiva and devote oneself deeply into lord Shiva.
Shivaratri falls on the 14th day of every lunar month – the eve of the new moon and the darkest night of the month – is known as Shivaratri. Of the 12 Shivaratri that take place each year, Mahashivaratri in the month of Falgun (which happens around February-March) is the one with the most potent spiritual significance.
The festival combines all-day fasting and an all-night vigil. During daylight hours, devotees rise early and take a ritual bath. After these ablutions, they will head over to the nearest temple dedicated to Shiva, to make offerings of milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar, and water.
Mahashivratri is closely associated with fertility and creation. Also it is supposed to be the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti, which in essence mean the masculine and feminine energies that balance the world. and according to legend, it is on this night that Lord Shiva performs his heavenly dance or ‘tandav’.
Different legends, throughout history, describe the significance of Mahashivratri and according to one of them, it is on this night that Lord Shiva performs his cosmic dance of ‘creation, preservation and destruction’. Another legend dictates that on this night, offerings of Lord Shiva’s icons can help one overcome and let go of their sins and start on the path of righteousness, allowing the individual to reach Mount Kailash and achieve ‘moksha’.
Mahashivaratri means many things to many people. One of the central themes, which resonates most strongly among devotees, is the idea of "overcoming darkness and ignorance." It is taken as one of the best days to perform meditation because on this day, mind, intellect, and ego rest in the divine and we can get complete peace.