Maha Shivratri 2024 fasting rules: Maha Shivratri, one of the most auspicious nights for Hindus and particularly a special occasion for Lord Shiva devotees across the country is almost here. From Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated with unique traditions and great dedication by Hindus. Maha Shivratri is most important of all Masik Shivratris that are observed every month. The festival falls on the fourteenth day of the dark (waning) half of the lunar month of Phalguna or Magha, a day before the new moon. Observing a day-long fast on Mahashivratri is of great spiritual significance as it is equivalent to worshipping Shiva the entire year and can also help one attain salavation and absolution of all sins. No wonder the festival finds mention in several Puranas including Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, and Padma Purana. (Also read | Maha Shivratri 2024: List of puja samagri, bhog items needed for the festival)

Maha Shivratri 2024 fasting rules: Maha Shivratri is most important of all Masik Shivratris that are observed every month
Maha Shivratri 2024 fasting rules: Maha Shivratri is most important of all Masik Shivratris that are observed every month

Maha Shivratri fast: What to eat and avoid

Fasting is known to purify body and mind, raises alertness levels and prepares one to worship the lord with utmost dedication. While some devotees choose to fast without food and water, many others stick to vrat-friendly foods include like sago, millets, pumpkin, potato, makhana, arbi, banana, yoghurt to name a few. It is important to avoid wheat, rice, salt, certain vegetables, pulses and other such foods. Non-vegetarian foods, onion, and garlic must be strictly avoided on Maha Shivratri even by those who are not fasting.

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What to offer to Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva must be offered bel patra, dhatura fruit, raw rice, milk, curd, sandalwood, ghee and water to get blessed with success, prosperity, peace and happiness. Additionally, sweets made with milk and its products like barfi, peda, and kheer are offered to the lord.

Maha Shivratri fasting Dos

  • A day before Maha Shivratri on Trayodashi, devotees must consume a single meal to prepare their body and mind for worshipping Shiva.
  • On the day of the fast, devotees should wake up early in the morning, take a bath and wear fresh clothes.
  • One should then take a sankalp to observe a day-long fast with utmost dedication and devotion while following all the rules of the fast.
  • Bath Shivalinga with water, milk, saffron, honey and Ganga water before worshipping Shiva. Light diya and incense.
  • During the fast, devotees must stick to satvik and vrat-friendly foods like fruits, milk, milk products, root vegetables while avoiding prohibited foods like grains and legumes.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and try to consume all food groups necessary for a balanced diet to keep yourself energised.
  • The night of Shivratri is of great significance and before the Shiv Puja, devotees must take bath again.
  • Shivratri puja can be performed one time or four times during the night.
  • After completing the Shiv Puja, devotees much continue with the fast and break it only the next day after taking a bath, preferably before the Chaturdashi tithi ends.

Maha Shivratri fasting Don’ts

  • Do not offer coconut water to Shivling while coconuts can be offered to Lord Shiva.
  • It is advised not to consume anything that you have offered to Lord Shiva as it’s believed to bring bad luck.
  • Do not offers flowers like kevada and champa as they are cursed by Lord Shiva.
  • The devotees should never use a kumkum tilak during this puja and sandalwood paste must be preferred.
  • While fasting, do not go overboard on tea and coffee as it can cause dehydration
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels if you are suffering from diabetes.
  • Instead of deep-fried food, feel foods that aid digestion and keep you full for longer.
  • Make sure to consume probiotics such as curd as it can keep your gut healthy.
  • Dry fruits, nuts and seeds must be consumed as a snack to keep energy levels high.


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