Maha Shivratri 2021 is on March 11, and devotees are all geared up to celebrate one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. The day, also known as the Great Night of Shiva, is observed by remembering the Hindu god Siva, chanting prayers, fasting and meditating on ethics and virtues such as honesty, non-injury to others, charity, forgiveness and more. Pujas are performed in the late evening, milk is offered to the Shivaling, and cultural programmes are also organised. But above all of that, there are important things one must note to celebrate Maha Shivratri 2021. What to do and what not to do while observing Shivratri vrat and celebrating the Hindu festival? In this article, find out the dos and don’ts.

Things to Do On Maha Shivratri

  • Wake up early in the morning, and take a bath. On the bucket of water, add some black sesame seeds in it, and then have a bath.
  • Listen to stories of Lord Shiva, sing devotional songs, chant mantras and meditate. Keep yourself calm, as far as possible.
  • Participate in the nightly prayers at home. Chant the mantra “Om Namah Shivay,” while offering prayers.
  • To worship Lord Shiva, offer Bilva leaves, white colour flowers, water from the Ganges, sacred ash, sandalwood paste and milk to Shiva.
  • Lord Shiva is fond of milk-made food items. Hence, you can offer kheer or milk barfi to the linga, and some people also offer bhang to the Shiva idol.
  • The Shivratri fast begins in the morning and continues till the next morning. Devotees generally consume milk and fruits throughout the day. People with medical issues are advised to avoid the day-long fast.

Things Not to Do On Maha Shivratri

  • Never offer tulsi leaves while worshipping Lord Shiva. It is believed that devotees who offer the tulsi leaves are unable to complete their Maha Shivratri puja.
  • It is also said that shankh (conch) must never be used to worship Lord Shiva.
  • On the day of Shivratri, it is advisable to not sleep till late.
  • Abstain from any kind of indulgence, not eat non-veg, and devote the time to only worship Lord Shiva with full focus and devotion.
  • Never resort to falsehood and quarrels.
  • Because we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, huge gatherings are a big no-no. It is advisable to worship the Lord at your home temple, and engage in virtual events.
  • According to the Shiv Puran, the devotee is not supposed to take a full round around the Shivling. You should only go around in a semi-circle and return to where you started from.

Maha Shivratri is a significant event, and there are essential rituals one needs to follow. While Shivratri vrat is significant, it is important to assess your health before deciding to fast.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 08, 2021 04:05 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website