Mahashivaratri

An annual Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, celebrated on the night before the new moon in February or March. The thirteenth night of the dark half of every lunar month is sacred to Shiva but this night in the month of Magha or Phalguna is when devotions to the deity reach a climax. The festival commemorates the night Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava, the celestial dance of primordial creation, preservation, and destruction.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
31003
Names
Mahashivaratri Spanish
Mahashivratri
Mahāśivarātri
Maha-sivaratri
Great Night of Siva
Great Night of Shiva
Śivarātri
Shiva Ratri
Shiva-Ratri
Shivaratri
Maha Shivratri

More Definitions

An annual Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, celebrated on the night before the new moon in February or March. The thirteenth night of the dark half of every lunar month is sacred to Shiva but this night in the month of Magha or Phalguna is when devotions to the deity reach a climax. The festival commemorates the night Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava, the celestial dance of primordial creation, preservation, and destruction. The festival includes fasting, worship every three hours, and the annointing of the linga, a phallic emblem that is the principal symbolic representation of Shiva. The day after the all-night vigil is celebrated with feasting and festival fairs.

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300264516. The J. Paul Getty Trust.