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Mahashivratri 2024: Timing, Holiday, Rituals, All you need to know

By Aniket

Updated - May 9, 20248 min read

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Mahashivratri 2024: The Hindu festival of Mahashivratri, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, will be celebrated across India on 8th March 2024. This auspicious occasion marks the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, symbolizing divine harmony.


Mahashivratri is celebrated with grandeur in Hindu temples, where devotees pray to Lord Shiva, the destroyer, and the compassionate God of the universe. Unlike many joyous Hindu festivals, Mahashivratri is a night reserved for self-reflection and introspection, emphasizing spiritual contemplation and devotion to Lord Shiva. 


Maha Shivaratri 2024

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Mahashivratri 2024: Date and Timing 

Mahashivratri in 2024 is set to be observed on the 8th of March, marking a significant day in the Hindu calendar dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Chaturdashi Tithi commences at 9:57 pm on the 8th of March and concludes at 6:17 pm on the following day, the 9th of March. During this auspicious time, devotees engage in prayers, fasting, and spiritual practices to honor Lord Shiva, the destroyer, and the compassionate deity revered across India.


Mahashivratri 2024 Important Timing

  • Mahashivratri falls on 8th March in 2024.
  • Chaturdashi Tithi starts at 9:57 pm on 8th March and ends at 6:17 pm on 9th March.
  • Nishita Kaal Puja is observed from 2:07 am to 12:56 am on 9th March.
  • Shivaratri Parana time is scheduled between 6:37 am to 3:29 am.
  • This festival symbolizes devotion, introspection, and reverence towards Lord Shiva, with celebrations held in Hindu temples nationwide to seek blessings and spiritual enlightenment.



Mahashivratri 2024 Holiday

On March 8, 2024, banks will be closed for Mahashivratri, which falls on a Friday. This holiday is followed by the second Saturday and Sunday, providing an extended weekend for many. The closure allows individuals to observe the festival dedicated to Lord Shiva and enjoy a break before regular banking operations resume.



Why to Celebrate Mahashivratri?

Maha Shivaratri, a significant Hindu festival, is celebrated for various reasons deeply rooted in legends and mythology. One of the most renowned tales is that of Goddess Parvati's rigorous penance to win Lord Shiva as her husband, culminating in their divine union on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Falgun. This sacred event forms the basis for the immense importance and auspiciousness associated with Maha Shivaratri.


Another compelling legend from the Garuda Purana narrates a hunter's inadvertent observance of Shiva Puja on Shivaratri. Exhausted and hungry after a fruitless hunting expedition, the hunter rested by a pond where he encountered a Shiva Lingam under a Bilva tree. Unknowingly, his actions of plucking Bilva leaves, sprinkling water on the Lingam, and bowing before it constituted a complete Shiva Puja. Upon his death, celestial beings from Lord Shiva's entourage intervened to protect his soul from Lord Yama's messengers.


5 Importance of Celebrating Mahashivratri

  • Mahashivratri honors the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
  • It signifies devotion, spiritual significance, and the triumph of good over evil.
  • The festival holds deep cultural and mythological importance in Hindu traditions.
  • Observing Mahashivratri is believed to bring blessings, spiritual growth, and protection.
  • It serves as a time for introspection, prayer, and seeking divine grace in one's life. 


Maha Shivaratri 2024

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Mahashivratri 2024 Rituals

The Maha Shivaratri Puja rituals commence early in the morning as devotees start their day with a bath before sunrise, don new attire, and head to Shiva temples. Women play a significant role in the traditional Maha Shivaratri Puja, which involves offerings of water, milk, Bel leaves, and fruits like Ber or jujube fruit, accompanied by incense sticks. They perform circumambulations around the Shiva Lingam, followed by ceremonial offerings of milk, leaves, fruits, and flowers while worshipping with incense sticks.


Key Rituals

  • Bathing the Shiva Lingam with water and milk symbolizes soul purification.
  • Application of vermilion post-bath signifies virtue.
  • Presentation of fruits represents desire fulfillment and longevity.
  • Burning incense sticks symbolize wealth.
  • Betel leaves denote contentment from worldly desires.
  • Lighting lamps signifies wisdom and knowledge attainment.


A central aspect of Maha Shivaratri is the night-long vigil at Shiva temples, where devotees organize Jaagrans. Temples resonate with chants of 'Om Namah Shivay,' while devotional songs are sung in honor of Lord Shiva. This festival is a time for deep spiritual connection, devotion, and seeking blessings for spiritual growth and well-being. 


Mahashivratri 2024: Fasting Rules

Devotees observing fast on Mahashivratri follow specific rules to honor Lord Shiva. The fasting practices vary, with some opting for a strict fast without food and water, while others include specific foods like potato, makhana, banana, and pumpkin in their diet.


Key Fasting Rules for Mahashivratri 2024

Food Restrictions: Avoid wheat, rice, salt, certain vegetables, pulses, non-vegetarian food, onion, and garlic.

1. Fasting Options

  • Nirjala Vrat: No food or water consumption.
  • Phalahara Vrat: Includes teas, fruits, and dry fruits.
  • Samapta: Combines Phalahara with one meal.

2. Recommended Foods: Stick to satvik and vrat-friendly foods like fruits, milk, milk products, and root vegetables.

3. Hydration: Stay hydrated by consuming water and liquids throughout the fasting period.

4. Preparation: Mentally prepare for the fast and avoid heavy physical activities.

5. Observance: Maintain purity and piety during the fast to worship Lord Shiva with devotion.


5 Best Places to Visit in Mahashivratri 2024 


1. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Explore the spiritual aura of Varanasi, also known as Kashi, during Mahashivratri. Visit the Tilbhandeshwar Temple in south Varanasi, where devotees partake in traditional rituals and processions, immersing themselves in the vibrant celebrations of this auspicious festival.


Best Places to Visit in Mahashivratri 2024

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2. Somnath Temple, Gujarat

Journey to the revered Somnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Experience the grandeur of Maha Shivaratri as the temple is adorned with mesmerizing LED lights and colorful floral decorations, creating a divine ambiance for devotees to offer their prayers and seek blessings.


Best Places to Visit in Mahashivratri 2024

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3. Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Pay homage at the Mahakaleshwar Temple, home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, situated on the banks of the sacred River Kshipra. Witness the fervent rituals and festivities that mark Maha Shivaratri, as devotees gather to celebrate this auspicious occasion with devotion and reverence.


Best Places to Visit in Mahashivratri 2024

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4. Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Immerse yourself in a unique celebration of Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Yoga Center founded by Sadhguru. Engage in dance, music, meditation sessions, and a night-long satsang that offer a spiritual experience like no other during this sacred festival.


Best Places to Visit in Mahashivratri 2024

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5. Lokanatha Temple, Puri, Odisha

Seek solace and blessings at the Lokanatha Temple in Puri, Odisha. Established by Lord Rama himself, this temple holds historical significance and is a popular destination for Shiva devotees seeking spiritual enlightenment and divine grace during Mahashivratri.


Best Places to Visit in Mahashivratri 2024

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Q1. When is Mahashivratri 2024?

Ans. Mahashivratri 2024 falls on March 8th, marking a significant day in the Hindu calendar dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.


Q2. What are the fasting rules for Mahashivratri?

Ans. Fasting rules for Mahashivratri include avoiding wheat, rice, salt, non-vegetarian food, onion, and garlic, with options ranging from Nirjala Vrat to Phalahara Vrat.


Q3. What is the significance of Mahashivratri?

Ans. Mahashivratri symbolizes devotion, spiritual significance, and the triumph of good over evil, honoring the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.


Q4. How is Mahashivratri celebrated?

Ans. Mahashivratri is celebrated with prayers, fasting, and spiritual practices at Hindu temples, accompanied by rituals like bathing the Shiva Lingam, offering milk and fruits, and engaging in night-long vigils.


Q5. Which places are best to visit for Mahashivratri 2024?

Ans. Varanasi, Somnath Temple, Mahakaleshwar Temple, Isha Yoga Center, and Lokanatha Temple are among the top destinations to experience the vibrant celebrations and spiritual fervor of Mahashivratri 2024.