Shivratri, also known as the “Great Night of Shiva,” is one of the most significant festivals in India. It is celebrated annually by devotees of Lord Shiva, one of the most revered deities in the Hindu religion. The festival is observed on the 14th day of the lunar month of Phalguna or Maagha, which falls in February or March, according to the Gregorian calendar.

The Significance of Shivratri

Shivratri holds immense significance in Hindu mythology and is associated with several legends. One of the most popular legends is that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on this day. Another popular belief is that Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya, a celestial dance that symbolizes creation, preservation, and destruction, on this auspicious night.

The festival is also associated with the liberation of the soul from the cycle of birth and death. Devotees believe that by observing fasts, performing pujas, and chanting mantras on this day, they can seek Lord Shiva’s blessings and attain salvation.

Celebrations and Rituals

The festival is celebrated with great fervor and devotion throughout India. People observe fasts and offer prayers to Lord Shiva by visiting temples and performing pujas. Devotees also offer bilva leaves, flowers, fruits, and milk to Lord Shiva’s idol, as these are considered to be his favorite offerings.

Many devotees also observe an all-night vigil, known as the “jaagaran,” where they sing hymns and bhajans in praise of Lord Shiva. The night is spent in meditation, with some people performing yoga and penance to seek the blessings of the divine.

Another significant aspect of Shivratri is the consumption of bhang, a cannabis-infused drink that is believed to be Lord Shiva’s favorite. Bhang is consumed in the form of sweets, milkshakes, and lassis, and is said to have medicinal and spiritual benefits.

The festival is also celebrated with great enthusiasm in some parts of India, with processions, cultural events, and fairs organized in many cities. In Varanasi, the holiest city for Hindus, the festival is celebrated with grandeur, with thousands of devotees taking a dip in the holy Ganges river to cleanse their sins.


Shivratri is a significant festival in India, celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm by millions of devotees of Lord Shiva. The festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and is an occasion for spiritual renewal and introspection. By observing fasts, performing pujas, and chanting mantras, devotees seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and attain spiritual enlightenment. The festival is a reminder of the importance of spirituality and the eternal power of the divine.