Maha Shivratri, a day that celebrates the convergence of the forces of Shiva and Shakti, is an important occasion for Hindus all across the world. This year, it will be celebrated on February 18, 2023, which is a Saturday.
The day honours Lord Shiva, who is regarded as one of the three in the holy Hindu trinity. Maha Shivratri or the ‘great night of Shiva’ happens once every year, when the winter recedes, in February/March, and paves the way for spring and summer.
One day before Shivaratri Vratam, most likely on Trayodashi, devotees should eat only one time. On Shivaratri day, after finishing morning rituals devotees should take Sankalp to observe full day fast on Shivaratri and to take food next day. During Sankalp devotees pledge for self-determination throughout the fasting period and seek blessing of Lord Shiva to finish the fast without any interference. Hindu fasts are strict and people pledge for self-determination and seek God blessing before starting them to finish them successfully.
On Shivaratri day devotees should take second bath in the evening before doing Shiva Puja or visiting temple. Shiva Puja should be done during night and devotees should break the fast next day after taking bath. Devotees should break the fast between sunrise and before the end of Chaturdashi Tithi to get maximum benefit of the Vrat. According to one contradictory opinion devotees should break the fast only when Chaturdashi Tithi gets over. But it is believed that both Shiva Puja and Parana i.e. breaking the fast should be done within Chaturdashi Tithi.
Shivaratri puja can be performed one time or four times during the night. The whole night duration can be divided into four to get four Prahar to perform Shiva Puja four times. Bengalenstore.com lists all four Prahar durations for staunch Shiva devotees who perform Shiva Pujan four times in the night. We also list Nishita time when Lord Shiva appeared on the Earth in the form of Linga and the time window to break the fast on next day.
Date and Timeing:
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time – 06:13 pm to 09:24 pm
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time – 09:24 pm to 12:35 am, Feb 19
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time – 12:35 am to 03:46 am, Feb 19
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time – 03:46 am to 06:56 am, Feb 19
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins – 08:02 pm on Feb 18, 2023
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 04:18 pm on Feb 19, 2023