Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually between February and March in honour of the deity Shiva. The occasion is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the dark (waning) half of the lunar month of Phalguna or Magha, according to the Hindu calendar. This year, on March 8, the auspicious occasion will be celebrated with much fanfare and enthusiasm. The festival honours the marriage of Shiva and Parvati and the moment when Shiva dances, known as Tandava.

Devotees offering Milk, Honey and Coconut water on a Shivling on the Maha Shivratri festival.(HT Gallery )
Devotees offering Milk, Honey and Coconut water on a Shivling on the Maha Shivratri festival.(HT Gallery )

It is an important occasion that marks the “overcoming of darkness and ignorance” in existence and the cosmos, according to Hinduism. Observances include chanting prayers, fasting, remembering Shiva and reflecting on morals and qualities such as honesty, forgiving others, charity and discovering Shiva. (Also read: Maha Shivratri 2024: Is it on March 8 or 9? Date, puja timing, history, significance and celebration of Hindu festival )

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Puja samagri and bhog items for Maha Shivratri

On this day, belpatra, bhang, dhatura, madar flower, white sandalwood, white flowers, Ganga water and cow’s milk are ceremonially offered in honour of Bhole Shankar. It is believed that all wishes will come true if one fasts on Mahashivratri and worships Shiva and Parvati. Although Lord Shiva is satisfied with just a pot of water and belpatra, there are other offerings and prasad that, when given to Lord Shiva, grant individuals the special blessings of Mahadev. Let’s take a look at the bhog items:

Malpua: Offer malpua prepared with desi ghee to Lord Bholenath at home on the day of Mahashivratri during the puja. Shivji is very fond of malpua.

Thandai: The worship of Lord Shiva involves the use of cannabis. You can also give Bhang Thandai on this day. This will appease Mahadev and grant your wishes.

Panchamrit: At the time of worship on Mahashivratri, you can offer bhang and panchamrit as naivedya to Lord Shankar. This is also considered to be Lord Shiva’s favourite offering.

Sweets: During the worship of Mahashivratri, offer any white sweet made of cow’s milk. This is regarded as a suitable offering to obtain the blessings of Lord Shiva. Many people also offer sugar and honey.

Makhana Kheer: You can make makhana kheer in cow’s milk and offer it to Lord Shiva. Rice kheer can also be offered.

Dhatura: According to the Shiva Purana, it is considered auspicious to offer datura fruit during Shiva worship. It is believed to remove sorrow and help in conceiving children.


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