Om Namah Shivay. One of the most important and solemn Hindu festivals is here again. Known as the Great Night of Shiva, this spiritually significant festival takes place in honor of Lord Shiva. Yes, Maha Shivratri 2020 date is 21st February. The date of the festival is determined as the 14th day of the lunar month or on the day prior to the Full moon. Maha Shivratri will be on the darkest night of the month.
The festival marks a remembrance to overcome darkness and ignorance in an individual's life. Observation for this festival comes with the chanting of prayers, fasting, the meditation on ethical behavior and virtues like severe self-discipline, not inflicting pain unto others, refraining from intoxication, forgiveness, and discovery of Shiva within your self.
The legends of Maha Shivratri are distinctly numerous. The Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, and Padma Puranas mention the Maha Shivratri in particular, apart from several other Puranas. Legend has it that this was the day that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati tied the knot which is why Maha Shivratri is particularly significant to spiritual individuals who are in a family.
Individuals who follow strict self-discipline with fasting and the required rituals will experience a natural upsurge of energies on this day. The rituals are of wide variety and require abstinence from worldly pleasures as well.
The legend continues that Maha Shivaratri was the day when Shiva drank the poison out of the pot that surfaced in the ocean to protect the whole world. As he kept his word, Lord Shiva consumed the poison using his powers by not permitting the poison to go below his throat which in effect changed his throat into a blue color whereby he was called the 'Neel Kanth'.
According to another legend, it is said that on this day Lord Shiva performs the heavenly Tandav dance of creation, destruction and preservation. This festival of Maha Shivratri has rooted history in reference to this dance and its significance. It has a historic impact on the convergence of artists at various Hindu temples such as Kornak, Pattadakal, Modhera, etc.
The Tandav dance has 108 forms which are widely performed by dancers on this day. 'Natyajali' literally means 'worship through dance' also known as Natya Shastra. As per the ancient Hindu text of performing arts, Natyajali is famous at the Chidambaram temple where the sculpture depicts all the dance mudras.
Out of all the 12 Shivratris that are held in the year, Maha Shivratri is the most auspicious one. It is celebrated in most states of India as well as Nepal and a few other foreign countries where Hindus are prominent.
The astrological significance of Maha Shivratri is that people will be spiritually experiencing an upsurge of energy on this day, that can deliver moksha from past sins and improve their family situations. By praying to Lord Shiva, all single women will be blessed with a husband with the traits of the Lord himself. Om Namah Shivay.