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Maha shivratri

Lord Shiva (शिव) is also known as Mahadev,(महादेव) Bholenath, Shankar and many other names by his devotees. As per Hindu Dharma, Shiva is worshipped by all nature beings Sur(Gods) / Manav(Humans) / Asur(Rakshas) in the universe. For Hindus, Maha Shivratri is one of the big festival which is celebrated accross the world.

Importance of Maha shivratri
Shiavratri comes every lunar month in Hindu calendar, so in a year there are 12 Shiv ratri. However, the Shivratri which comes on Krishnapaksh Chaturdashi of Phalgun (फाल्गुन कृष्णपक्ष चतुर्दशी) Month is the most auspicious day and is celebrated as Maha Shivratri.

Shiva is worshiped by many people with different reasons. Those who consider themselves as Shiv Bhakta, they observe this day as Marriage Anniversary of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is celebrated like Union of shiva and Shakti. Those who follow Shiva as a Spiritual God, they observe this day as one of the most powerful day and especially a powerful night in terms of Spirituality. Yogis and Spiritual path seekers considers this day as the day of powerful spiritual energies.

Rituals which are followed on Maha Shivratri
Many people follow Vrat/Upvas/Fasting on this day. 
People go to Shiva Temple for worshipping Lord Shiva and get blessings.
Shiv pooja / Worship is done through out the day, however Shiv Pooja/worship or Dhyanam / Spiritual Practices which are performed during night in Nishita Kaal muhurta are considered to be more benificial. Nishita Kaal starts from midnight on Maha Shivratri.
It is belelived that devotess should try to be awake as much as possible during this night.
While performing Shiv Pooja / Worship, many offerings are offerred to Shiva. However Kait or Kath bel (wood apple) is mainly offerred to lord shiva on this occasion together with Bilva patra.

Important Mantras

ॐ नमः शिवाय 
श्री शिवाय नमस्तुभ्यम 

Mrityunjaya Mantra from Puraanas
मृत्युञ्जयाय रुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय शाम्भवे 
अमृतेशाय सर्वाय महा देवाय ते नमः 


||हर हर महादेव||

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