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Take Your Kids Through A Mythological Ride Of Mahashivratri

India is a land of festivals. The people of our country celebrate every festival with equal enthusiasm and excitement. Festivals and various cultural events are a great way to educate your kids about Indian culture and its significance. In this article, we will talk about the Mahashivratri festival and its cultural significance.

What is Mahashivratri?

The festival of Mahashivratri or “The Great Night of Shiva” is the auspicious day of Lord Shiva. It is celebrated on every 14th day of the lunar month. Every year the festival falls in February and March. This year Mahashivratri will be on 1st March 2022.

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Why Do We Celebrate Mahashivratri?

Shivji Smiling

The festival of Mahashivratri is considered to be very auspicious especially for women because the roots of the festival are associated with a ritual performed by Goddess Parvati. As per some religious beliefs on this particular night, Lord Shiva goes into meditation for 3 hours. And during this time he is vulnerable and so to safeguard Goddess Parvati, he offers prayers so that no harm can come to him till the time he is not able to defend himself against the demons.

In the same way, married women across India pray for their husband’s good health and long life. On the other hand, unmarried women pray for an ideal husband like Lord Shiva. The Mahashivratri festivities start at sunset followed by a jaagran. Priests at the temples offer puja in a 3-hour cycle where they bathe a lingam, which symbolizes the deity. And the ritual of bathing, known as ‘Abhishek’, is a visual representation of a god.

Popular Tales Associated With Mahashivratri Celebrations

Shiva performing tandava

India’s mythological stories are incomplete without popular and intriguing tales and instances from the past. With Mahashivratri celebrations, many instances are spiritual, interesting, and enriching. As per a popular traditional script, Mahashivratri marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. While some people think that it was the auspicious night of Mahashivratri when Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’. Dance used to signify the 3 natural forces of creation, preservation, and destruction. The day is very auspicious for the devotees of Shiva.

Customs Associated With Mahashivratri

People worshipping Linga

The festival is made special and memorable by a variety of customs that are performed by people to make Lord Shiva happy. The devotees observe strict fast to honor their great deity Shiv. While some people may go on a diet of milk and fruits, there will be few people who will not even drink a sip of water. On the occasion of Mahashivratri, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath. After wearing fresh new clothes, they visit the temple of Lord Shiva and give a ritual bath to the linga with milk, honey, and water. One can hear the chants of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ throughout the temple.

The Holy Bath of Shivalinga

Decorated Shivalingam

As per the Mahashivratri rituals mentioned in the Shiva Purana, the Shivalingam is given a special holy bath every 3 hours with milk, honey, sandalwood paste, and rose water. Following the bath, the vermilion paste is applied to the linga. Traditionally, leaves of bilwa, maredu, and wood apple are ,used for the Shiv puja. The Shiv devotees also adorn the linga with colorful flowers and garlands.

Importance of the Mahashivratri Puja Items

Mahashivratri Puja Items

As we have already mentioned that different types of items are used for the Mahashivratri puja. Now, let’s get to know the importance of each item.

a) Bathing of the Shivalinga with water, honey, milk, and wood apple leaves represents the purification of the soul.

b) The vermilion paste represents virtue.

c) Offering fresh fruits symbolizes longevity.

d) The burning of incense sticks brings in wealth.

e) The lighting of the lamp represents the attainment of knowledge.

f) The betel leaves marks satisfaction from worldly pleasures.

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Final Words

At PiggyRide we have always believed in the philosophy of creating one and secular India. This article will play a key role and help all the parents in creating awareness about the importance of Mahashivratri amongst their children. As parents, you and your child can together start the festival by waking up early and making a visit to the temple. This is just a small step by which you can help your kids in becoming more secular. PiggyRide family is wishing everyone a Very Happy Mahashivratri. May Lord Shiva bless us all!

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WRITTEN BY:
Ridhi Dogra

Hi Friends! I am Ridhi Dogra.
I am working as a Content Writer with PiggyRide. I graduated from Delhi University with a bachelor's degree in Home Science and I did my post-graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University. I am an avid reader, a passionate traveler, and a movie buff.

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