Maha Shivaratri 2019
On 5th, Maha Shivaratri Parana Time = 06:52 to 08:37
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time = 21:17 to 24:28+
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time = 24:28+ to 27:40+
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time = 27:40+ to 30:52+
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends = 08:37 on 5/Mar/2019
Shivaratri is great festival of convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in month of Magha is known as Maha Shivaratri according to South Indian calendar. However according to North Indian calendar Masik Shivaratri in month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. In both calendars it is naming convention of lunar month which differs. However both, North Indians and South Indians, celebrate Maha Shivaratri on same day.
Vrat Vidhi – 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 (संकल्प) 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 (पारणा)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 (प्रहर) to perform Shiva Puja four times. Drikpanchang.comlists 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.
Holi or Phagwa, the festival of colours, bids adieu to winters and marks the onset of spring. This year, the Rangwali Holi . A day prior to Badi Holi is Holika Dahan, also famous as Chhoti Holi,. Holy pyres are burnt on streets and open spaces, signifying the victory of good over evil. People sing and dance around the fire and also perform parikrama of fire, take a round around the fire. Timings for the Holika Dahan is from 6 PM to 8:30 PM.
The legend of Prahlad, Holika and Hiranyakashyap is associated with it. According to the legend, an evil king called Hiranyakashyap had a son name Prahlad, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. The evil king did not like that. He wanted him to give up his faith in Lord Vishnu and stop worshiping him. When Prahlad refused to do so, Hiranyakashyap tried to kill him. Hiranyakashyap’s sister Holika had a divine blessing that she will not be burnt by fire. The king made Prahlad sit in Holika’s lap and set the two on fire. With the blessings of Lord Vishnu, Prahlad, who kept chanting his name, remain untouched, but it was Holika who started to scream, the fire did not save her this time. While some legend say that the blessing was applicable only when she sits alone in the fire, other legends refer to a shawl or a ‘magical’ piece of cloth that saved her from fire. It says that with the blessing of Lord Vishnu, a strong wind blew and covered Prahlad with that shawl, saving him, while Holika burnt to death. With this legend, the tradition of Holika Dahan came into practice signifying the victory of good over evil.