Maha Shivratri means the great night of Bhagwan Shiv (Lord Shiva). Shivratri comes once every month on the 13th night or 14th day of Hindu Lunar Calendar. However, Maha Shivratri is the most revered night in Hindu Tradition along with Janmashtami which is celebrated as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in the months Feb or March depending upon the lunar calendar. This Year Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on 21st Feb 2020.
Legends of Maha Shivratri
There are many stories associated with this festival.
- One of the popular legends is that on this night Bhagwan Shiv performed the Tandav dance which signifies the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution (going back to the source) of existence.
- Another popular legend is that Mahadev (Bhagwan Shiv) got married to Goddess Parvati. That is the Shiv (Consciousness) meeting Shakti (Energy).
- Another legend is that the Mahadev drank the Halahal poison during the Samudra Manthan (Churning of the ocean). The temple associated with this event is in Rishikesh and is called as “Neelkanth Mahadev Temple”. Its a famous pilgrimage spot in Rishikesh. I have been to this temple during my visit to Rishikesh.
Significance of Maha Shivratri
It is one of the most important festivals for Hindus, particularly for Shiva devotees. According to ancient holy Hindu scriptures, Bhagwan Shiv is credited with blessing us with Yog (Yoga), Meditation, Tantra, Aghora, Dance, Music, Martial Arts etc. All these divine gifts are way to raise your consciousness and get enlightened. The state of enlightened consciousness is represented as Shivlinga.
This day and night are especially potent for raising your consciousness and good for doing spiritual practices.
Many people keep fast and remember Shiva and chant the sacred mantras related to Bhagwan Shiv.
On this auspicious day, many devotees keep fast or eat light food or the food which is had during religious fasting.
- e.g cereals, lentils, grains are avoided.
- Onions and garlic are not included.
- Rock salt (sendha namak) is used instead of normal salt.
- To know more about fasting food you can check this post – Navratri Fasting Rules.
If you are also planning to keep vrat on Shivratri then this collection will really help you in deciding your Shivratri menu. Eat light food which is easy to digest. Also if possible have a complete fast or only one meal in a day. Many people who don’t keep fast they avoid using onion and garlic in their meal.
Do try to visit a Shiva Temple and spend time in the temple remembering Shiva or practicing meditation. It’s also a good day for charity.
Collection 12 Maha Shivratri Vrat Recipes:
1. Sabudana khichdi – It is one of the most popular fasting recipe. Sabudana khichdi is an easy snack and is a good recipe to be made during fasting days like Shivratri, Ekadasi, Navratri etc. There are many sabudana recipes which you can make for shivratri fasting like:
2. Rajgira paratha recipe – These are healthy gluten free flatbreads made with amaranth flour or rajgira flour. Rajgira is one of the commonly used ingredients for religious fasting. Apart from these parathas you can also make Rajgira ki poori and Rajgira kheer.
3. Sama rice khichdi – A simple, easy and healthy khichdi made with sama ke chawal also known as barnyard millet. Sama ke chawal are regularly used during fasting days and are very healthy. You can make a variety of fasting recipes with them like:
4. Aloo tamatar curry – This is a delicious potato tomato curry made without onion-garlic and heavy ingredients or spices. You can serve the aloo tamatar curry with Vrat ki roti or Kuttu ki poori or Rajgira paratha or Rajgire ki poori.
5. Kuttu ki khichdi – Easy to prepare khichdi made with buckwheat groats (sabut kuttu), potatoes and peanuts for fasting. Wholesome superfood. You can serve buckwheat khichdi with a bowl of Yogurt (curd) or with Vrat ki kadhi.
7. Kaddu ki Sabji – This is an easy and delicious pumpkin recipe that can be made on regular days and also for Maha Shivratri vrat. If you are planning to cook a pumpkin-based dish for fasting then here are some options you have:
9. Vrat ka chawal ka pulao – This Samvat pulao recipe is a simple and easy pulao. Sama rice are good health option during fasting days and also make a good gluten free grain. You can have them plain or with Vrat ki kadhi. The english name for Sama ke chawal is Barnyard millet. the other Indian names for barnyard millet is vari, varai, sanwa, samwa and swang.
11. Farali patties – Crisp potato patties stuffed with sweet-tangy coconut-dry fruits stuffing. A popular Gujarati snack that is made during religious fasting. Few more snacks which you can make during Maha Shivratri fasting are:
12. Makhane ki kheer – This is a delicious North Indian dessert made from healthy foxnuts or phool makhana. This is also called as phool makhane ki kheer. there are many Sweets recipes which you can make for fasting days like: