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Mahashivratri 2023: Festival Date, Significance, Celebration

Published Date: 03-Dec-2022

Mahashivratri is one of the biggest festivals in Shaivism, which is one of the two main cults within mainstream Hinduism. As is clear by its name, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the deity associated with death and destruction. A Shivratri falls every month on the 14th day of the Krishna Paksha (the 15-day period when the moon wanes). However, the Shivratri falling in the Hindu month of Magha is considered the most significant. In the Gregorian calendar, Mahashivratri falls in late-February or early-March; its 2023 date is February 18th.

Mahashivratri History and significance

Mahashivratri  2020

Mahashivratri 2023

As is with every religious festival, several myths and legends are associated with Mahashivratri. As per one story, it was the night when Lord Shiva drank the poison produced during Samudra Manthan or churning of the ocean. Another legend states that on this night, Lord Shiva performed the Tandava, the cosmic dance which leads to total destruction and creation. Yes another story says that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married on this night.

Mahashivratri Celebrations across India

Mahashivratri 2020

Mahashivratri 2023

A distinction between Mahashivratri and other Hindu festivals is that while others are celebrated with fanfare, Mahashivratri is a rather solemn occasion in most parts of the country. Devotees fast during the day, perform yoga and pray to the deity. At most temples dedicated to him, people stay up all night chanting Mantras and Sanskrit shlokas in his honour.

However, there are places where the celebrations of Mahashivratri are accompanied by pomp and fervour. There is a huge fair organised in Mandi for 7 days that you can attend. During the event, idols of more than 200 regional deities are brought out of temples in palanquins and paraded.

Suggested Read: Diwali Puja 2023

Best Places to Observe the Celebrations of Mahashivratri

  • Tiruvannamalai
  • Varanasi
  • Ujjain
  • Mandi
  • Haridwar
  • Guwahati

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year Sunday 1 January Public
Lohri Saturday 14 January Restricted
Makar Sankranti Saturday 14 January Restricted
Pongal Sunday 15 January Restricted
Basant Panchmi Thursday 26 January Restricted
Republic Day Thursday 26 January Public
Guru Ravidass Jayanti Sunday 5 February Restricted
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wednesday 15 February Restricted
Mahashivratri Saturday 18 February Restricted
Losar Tuesday 21 February Restricted
Holi Wednesday 8 March Public
Ram Navami Thursday 30 March Restricted
Mahavir Jayanti Tuesday 4 April Restricted
Good Friday Friday 7 April Public
Easter Sunday 9 April Restricted
Vaisakhi Friday 14 April Restricted
Eid Ul Fitr Saturday 22 April Public
Buddha Purnima Friday 5 May Public
Rabindra Jayanti Tuesday 9 May Restricted
Rath Yatra Tuesday 20 June Restricted
Eid Al Adha Thursday 29 June Restricted
Muharram Saturday 29 July Public
Independence Day Tuesday 15 August Public
Parsi New Year Navroz Wednesday 16 August Restricted
Onam Tuesday 29 August Restricted
Raksha Bandhan Wednesday 30 August Restricted
Janmashtami Thursday 7 September Restricted
Ganesh Chaturthi Tuesday 19 September Restricted
Id E Milad Thursday 28 September Public
Gandhi Jayanti Monday 2 October Public
Dussehra Tuesday 24 October Public
Valmiki Jayanti Saturday 28 October Restricted
Halloween Day Tuesday 31 October NA
Karva Chauth Tuesday 1 November Restricted
Diwali Sunday 12 November Public
Bhai Dooj Tuesday 14 November Restricted
Chhath Puja Sunday 19 November Restricted
Guru Nanak Jayanti Monday 27 November Public
Christmas Monday 25 December Public
Sargun Preet Kaur
Sargun has an appetite for challenges and creative hurdles that can help her grow as she conquers them one by one. With an innate desire to travel the world, she weaves through life by visiting her dream destinations. When not in her creative zone, Sargun loves to smash in badminton and binge-watch her favourite shows.
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