Mahashivratri 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. Many Hindus keep a mahashivratri vrat this day. I hope this collection of 51 fasting or vrat recipes for the mahashivratri festival will be helpful to you.
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 ‘Halahala’ 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”. It is 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 a way to raise your consciousness and get enlightened or have a samadhi experience.
The state of enlightened consciousness is represented as Shivlinga. On this day, Many devotees pour water on Shivlinga with a lot of devotion or from a state of no-mind (no thoughts).
The idea is to connect with the deeper and higher state of pure consciousness where the ego is not there and you can connect with your inner divinity.
The maha shivratri day and night are especially potent for raising your consciousness and good for doing spiritual practices.
Many people keep fast or vrat and remember Shiva and chant the sacred mantras related to Bhagwan Shiv.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in the months of Feb or March depending upon the lunar calendar. This Year Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on 11 March 2021.
What can be eaten on Mahashivratri vrat or fast?
On this auspicious day, many devotees keep a mahashivratri vrat or fast and eat light, satvik food or the food which is had during religious fasting.
- 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 of Navratri Fasting Rules.
If you are also planning to keep a Shivratri vrat 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.
Fasting Recipes for Maha Shivratri
I have divided this North Indian fasting recipes for mahashivratri list into the following categories:
- Breakfast or snacks
- Lunch or dinner
You can choose to have just one meal a day be it breakfast or lunch. I usually have a few fruits on this day and have only one light meal for dinner. I meditate and chant shiva mantras and try to be awake the whole night.
These 51 fasting recipes for mahashivratri will easily help you to decide your menu on this pious day.
NOTE: Kindly use edible and food grade rock salt in place of regular salt or black salt in the recipes listed below. Skip the ground spices if you prefer or add fewer spices.
Kindly take into consideration your age, body and health factors when fasting. Remember to drink lots of water to keep the body hydrated.
Breakfast or Snacks
Sabudana ki khichdi is a delicious dish of tapioca pearls (sago) made with potatoes, peanuts and usually had during Hindu fasting days like Navratri, Ekadashi, mahashivratri. It is also a gluten free recipe. In this recipe post, you will get many tips and suggestions to make the best non-sticky sabudana khichdi.
Lunch or Dinner
You can opt to have a simple one meal like khichdi or have a two course meal like vrat ki roti with a veggie side dish or vrat rice with a side gravy or yogurt.
Vrat Rice Based Recipes
Fasting Bread Recipes
Fasting Curry Recipes and Sides
1 hr 30 mins
vrat ke chawal ki kheer
vrat ke chawal ka kheer – a creamy kheer made with samvat rice or barnyard millet.
Find some drinks that will keep you refreshed and hydrated during the fasting. Drink lots of water and have fresh fruit juices. I also share the recipe of thandai that can be had when the mahashivratri fast is over.
This Mahashivratri Vrat Recipes post from the archives (February 2020) has been updated and republished on 8 March 2021.