Maha Shivratri, also known as the “Jagara Festival” is a Hindu festival celebrated all over India. The date of Maha Shivratri 2023 in Odisha is February 18th, 2023. This festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hinduism, and is considered to be a significant event for the state’s devotees.
The festival takes place on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Phalguna (February/March) and typically lasts for three days. During this time, people gather at temples to offer prayers and perform rituals for Lord Shiva.
The main highlight of the festival is the night-long vigils where devotees fast, do yoga, and meditate to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. It is a time for people to come together and honor their traditions and culture.
Maha Shivratri Festival / Jagara Festival in Odisha
To prepare for the Maha Shivratri festival, many devotees observe a one-day fast, known as the Vrat Vidhi. On the day before the festival, devotees typically eat only one meal.
On the day of the Maha Shivaratri festival, after completing morning rituals, devotees take a vow, known as Sankalp, to observe a full-day fast and to eat the next day. During Sankalp, devotees pledge to remain determined throughout the fasting period and seek blessings from Lord Shiva to successfully complete the fast.
On the day of the Maha Shivratri festival, devotees take a second bath in the evening before performing Shiva Puja or visiting the temple. Shiva Puja is performed during the night and the fast is broken the next day after taking a bath. It is believed that to get the maximum benefit of the Vrat, the fast should be broken between sunrise and before the end of Chaturdashi Tithi. However, some believe that the fast should be broken only when Chaturdashi Tithi ends.
The Shivaratri puja can be performed one time or four times during the night. The whole night can be divided into four parts, known as Prahar, to perform Shiva Puja four times. The festival is also known as Jagara in Odisha and is spelled Shivratri, Shivarathri, and Sivaratri.
Maha Shivratri Story and Importance of the Festival
The origins of the festival of Maha Shivratri are said to come from the epic Mahabharata. In the book, Bhishma Pitamaha, while lying on his bed of arrows and giving advice on religion, mentions the king of the Ikhyaku dynasty, Chitrabhanu.
Here is the Maha Shivratri story: The king’s wife observed the fast of Shivratri, and a sage visiting the court asked the king about the significance of the festival. The king explained that in his previous life as a hunter named Shumbara, he and his companions took shelter in a wood apple tree for the night, plucking leaves and shedding tears.
The leaves and tears fell on a Shiba Linga placed beneath the tree, and as a result, they attained blessings from Lord Shiva and were able to live in the Kailash Mountain in the afterlife. The king stated that whoever observes Shivaratri with devotion and love will be blessed with freedom from illness and sadness, and their spirit will reside in Shaibaloka after death.
The Maha Shivratri Story has been taught through generations in India to emphasize the importance of the festival.
How is Maha Shivratri Festival celebrated? Customs and Rules
Devotees of Mahashivaratri observe a fast for the entire day, and in the evening they visit a Shiv temple to light an Akhand Diya and stay awake throughout the night. During the fourth prahar of the night, they chant the Lord’s name and make offerings.
The festival is divided into four units of three hours each:
- In the first unit, the Shiva Linga is bathed in milk
- In the second unit, it is bathed in curd
- In the third unit, it is bathed in honey,
- In the last unit, a Mahadipa is taken to the top of the temple to mark the end of the celebration.
The main intention of this Mahadipa is to dispel ignorance and bring knowledge to the world. The Linga is worshipped with flowers, leaves, and fruits in each unit, and only on this day, Ketaki flowers are offered to the Lord.
The Maha Shivratri Festival is also known as Jagara Osa or Jagara Brata as devotees keep themselves awake and light diyas while fasting. The festival teaches the importance of remaining alert and gaining knowledge for one’s own well-being.
Maha Shivaratri 2023 Puja Time
Details of Maha Shivaratri 2023 Puja Time:
|Beginning of Chaturdashi Tithi
|Shivaratri 2023 Parana
|06:56 AM to 03:24 PM
|First Prahar of the Night Puja
|06:13 PM to 09:24 PM
|Second Prahar of the Night Puja
|09:24 PM to 12:35 AM
|Third Prahar of the Night Puja
|12:35 AM to 03:46 AM
|Fourth Prahar of the Night Puja
|03:46 AM to 06:56 AM
|End of Chaturdashi Tithi
Wish Maha Shivratri 2023 Photos and Posters
Here are some photos you can download to wish Maha Shivratri:
Feel free to download the Shivratri posters and images and share them with your friends and family.
FAQs on FAQs on Maha Shivratri Festival
What is the significance of Maha Shivratri?
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the three major deities in Hinduism. The festival is believed to be the night when Lord Shiva performed the “Tandava” dance, the dance of destruction and creation, and it marks the victory of good over evil. It is also believed that those who observe the fast and perform the puja (worship) on this day with devotion will be blessed with peace, happiness, and prosperity.
When is Maha Shivratri celebrated?
Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark lunar fortnight in the Hindu month of Phalguna (February/March). The exact date may vary depending on the lunar calendar.
How is Maha Shivratri celebrated?
On Maha Shivratri, devotees observe a fast, visit Shiva temples, and offer prayers, fruits, and flowers to the Shiva Linga. Many people also stay awake through the night, chanting Lord Shiva’s name and performing the puja. Some people also perform the “Abhishek” ceremony, which involves bathing the Shiva Linga with milk, curd, honey, and other offerings.