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Archive for February 5th, 2010

India: Mahashivratri Festival 2010 on 12th February

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 5, 2010

One thousand and eight devotees took out a milk-pot procession to Angala Parameshwar Temple on the eve of Maha Shivaratri in Bangalore on Monday.

One thousand and eight devotees took out a milk-pot procession to Angala Parameshwar Temple on the eve of Maha Shivaratri in Bangalore on Monday. (Source: The Hindu Business Line - Mar 12, 2002)

Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.

Legends of Mahashivratri
There are various interesting legends related to the festival of Maha Shivaratri. According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Some believe that it was on the auspicious night of Shivaratri that Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction. Another popular Shivratri legend stated in Linga Purana states that it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga. Hence the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by Shiva devotees and they celebrate it as Mahashivaratri – the grand night of Shiva.

Traditions and Customs of Shivaratri
Various traditions and customs related to Shivaratri Festival are dutifully followed by the worshippers of Lord Shiva. Devotees observe strict fast in honor of Shiva, though many go on a diet of fruits and milk some do not consume even a drop of water. Devotees strongly believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivaratri, absolves a person of sins and liberates him from the cycle of birth and death. Shivaratri is considered especially auspicious for women. While married women pray for the well being of their husbands unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the ideal husband.

To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva temple to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum with milk, honey, water etc.

On Shivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the day and night. Every three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells. Nightlong vigil or jaagran is also observed in Shiva temples where large number of devotees spend the night singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that devotee break their fast by partaking prasad offered to the deity.

(Source: 2010 – SCFI – Societe to the Confluence of Festivals in India)

On the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri 2010 people are sending Shivaratri SMS, Shivaratri messages, Shivaratri greetings to each other. Net savvy devotees also download Shivaratri wallpapers. Some of the famous Mahashivratri SMS are:

“Shivratri blessings to you and your family.
May the almighty Lord Shiva bless you
all with good things and perfect health.”

“Let us celebrate the Mahashivratree night.
The night of Shiva-Parvati union.
The night of destruction and the night of creation.
The night of the Lord of lords.
Happy Shivaratri”

“May Lord Shiva shower blessings on all and
give power and strength to everyone
facing difficulties in there lives.”

“On the occasion of Mahashivaratri,
I pray to Lord Shiva
that His blessings may always be with you. ”

“Shivratri ke is pawan utsav par
Bhagwan Shiv aur maa Parvati
ki kripa aap sab par bane rahe.”

“Today is the auspicious day of Lord Shiva.
Celebrate it with a clean heart.
Happy Maha Shivratree.”

(Source: Fri, Feb 12, 2010 10:57:21 IST | MeriNews – Power to People – Mahashivaratri Festival 2010…)

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