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Maha Shivratri, which means 'the great night of Lord Shiva' is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus, especially those who are devoted to Him. Every year this festival is celebrated on the 14th night of the waning moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun. This year the day falls on 21 February 2020. This is the day when devotees worship Lord Shiva and express their gratitude from protecting the world and destroying one's evil thoughts.
In order to celebrate this day and please Lord Shiva, people observe fast for the whole day. Devotees believe that doing so will help them to devote themselves completely to Lord Shiva. There are many mythological stories that tell why devotees celebrate this festival. One such reason is that Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati on this day and hence, people celebrate their union.
Also, this is the day when Lord Shiva drank the Halahal, a deadly poison to save the universe from destruction. Legend has it that Lord Shiva can be pleased easily by His devotees and that's why he is often called Bholenath. But then there are a few things that you must not do on this day. In case, you are unaware of things to do and avoid on Maha Shivratri then please scroll down the article to read more:
Things To Do On Maha Shivratri
1. One must take bath early in the morning after completing their daily routine. The reason behind this is that it purifies one's mind and thus, you will be able to concentrate in a better manner.
2. After you have taken a bath, you must wear clean clothes.
3. While you offer milk to Lord Shiva make sure you offer ice-cold milk in a copper vessel. This is because Lord Shiva prefers ice-cold milk from a copper-vessel. In case you do not have a copper vessel, you can offer the milk in leaves.
4. Bathe the Shivlinga using a solution of milk and honey mixed in equal proportions.
5. You can also offer Bel Patra (Bael leaves), Peepal leaves and many other leaves that Lord Shiva is fond of. Also, offer Bhang and Dhatura to Lord Shiva while you are worshipping him, especially on Maha Shivratri.
6. While you are observing a fast on Maha Shivratri, you can consume fruits, milk and foods prepared using milk, such as Sabudana Kheer, cheese, etc.
7. Lord Shiva is fond of white flowers and therefore, you can offer white flowers to Lord Shiva. But make sure you do not offer Ketaki and Kevada flowers as it is believed that Lord Shiva had cursed those flowers.
Things To Avoid On Maha Shivratri
1. Avoid wearing black-coloured outfits on this day as devotees believe that Lord Shiva isn't fond of this colour.
2. Do not offer damaged Bel Patra to Lord Shiva. Offering leaves that are torn, damaged or decayed, may not benefit you.
3. While you offer milk to the Shivlinga, make sure you do not offer it from steel or any metal vessel other than copper. Many people offer milk in packets after buying it directly from the market. This is not the right way to worship Lord Shiva.
4. One must never offer turmeric to Lord Shiva because it signifies feminine beauty and Lord Shiva stays away from materialistic things.
5. While you are worshipping Lord Shiva avoid doing one complete Parikrama (going around the idol). Instead, take make a half Prikrama and then you can return from where you started.
6. One must never offer Tulsi leaves to Lord Shiva as these leaves symbolise Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu.
7. In addition to this, you must not offer coconut water to Lord Shiva.
We hope Lord Shiva fulfils your every wish and blesses you with health, prosperity and eternal peace.
Har Har Mahadev!