India, and especially the religion of Hinduism, abound with a lot of traditions, observances, and festivals. While some festivals are celebrated with much pomp and fanfare, there are certain festivals that might be not significant or famous, but have a very interesting connotation and story behind it!
The celebration of Maha Shivaratri in the month of February or March Falls into this category. This is a very special festival. While all the other Shaivite festivals are celebrated during the daytime, this festival alone is celebrated in the night, in fact, it goes through the entire night! Vaikunta Ekadasi is the Vaishnavite equivalent of this observance. This has led to a common saying that if a person has to stay awake for an entire night because of a commitment, that night is very amusingly and endearingly referred to as a Shivaratri.
As the name implies, the Maha Shivaratri is celebrated in the honor of the Hindu deity called Shiva. By the Hindu calendar, there is a Shivaratri that happens every month, and the concept of the month is determined by the Lunar and Solar movements in the Hindu calendar. Among all the Shivaratris, the Shivaratri that occurs on the 13th Night of the month Phalguna is considered to be extra auspicious, and this night is celebrated as the Maha Shivaratri. This festival might have had its Origins probably around the 5th century AD. The festival found its mention in a lot of Puranas including the Skanda Purana, the Linga Purana, and the Padma Purana.
This festival is a lot deeper than just Sleepless Nights. This Maha Shivaratri is known to be an event that brings about an introspection of oneself, self-study and to contemplate on values like being meek, honest and forgiving. According to folklore, the Maha Shivaratri is considered to be the night when Lord Shiva performed the cosmic dance of creation, protection, and destruction. There is another kind of folklore that says this was the night when Shiva got married to Parvati.
Though Maha Shivaratri is about observances, there are also a lot of festivities that are associated with this special day. There are people who celebrate this day, or rather a night, with a lot of crackers as it is one of the big special days for the Hindus! It will not be a surprise to see a house that is lit with fireworks, and a couple of sounds of crackers grace your ears.
The central places of Shiva worship, termed as Jyotirlingas, observe the Maha Shivaratri as a great day of celebration point places like Varanasi and Somanath are quite celebratory in their moods. The Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore, with its 112-foot statue of Lord Shiva in his Adi Yogi Avatar, also has quite some celebrations that attract more than 5 lakh devotees.
All these apart, there is a specialty fair for Shivaratri that happens in the quaint town of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. This event, called the Mandi Shivratri fair, is one of the greatest and the most massive events in the vicinity. This location is considered to be Central to about 200 temples that have their own Gods and Goddesses.
One of the key aspects of this celebration that brings out the people from the contemplative mood to a festive mood is the bursting of crackers. Though this festival is not as much about crackers as Diwali is, it is also one of the days when people buy crackers online and in shops as well. bijili.in adds to the awesomeness of this celebration by facilitating crackers sourced straight from the factories of Sivakasi. bijili.in is probably the best place for you to buy Sivakasi Crackers Online on the occasion of the Maha Sivaratri.
The Maha Shivratri is also celebrated in Nepal, Mauritius, South East Asia, and every place on this planet earth where there are devout Hindus who will never, in any way, give up on their commitment that they have towards Lord Shiva!