Traditions and Customs of Maha Shivaratri in Haridwar
Haridwar is known as the land of Yogis. Yogis are the great devotees of the Lord Shiva who celebrate Mahashivaratri with lots of preparations, devotion and enthusiasm every year. Haridwar is very famous place which is also known as way to God. It is popular for the temples and Ghats where thousands of pilgrims and devotees come here every year to celebrate mahashivaratri. They take bath in the holy water of Gange in the early morning to get free from their sins. Devotees of the Lord Shiva get together some days before the festival to the Haridwar in order to take a holy dip in the Har Ki Pauri (a famous Ghat at Gange river bank in Haridwar).
Devotees also visit the Lord Shiva temples at Haridwar and enjoy at Lakshman Jhula and water rafting in the Rishikesh. They also enjoy some adventurous activities like Bungee Jumping, etc. Mahashivaratri Festival is known as “The Grand Night of Shiva” and celebrated by the people of Hindu religion as a religious festival every year at Shree Jabreshwar Mahadev Mandir.
Traditions and Customs of Maha Shivaratri in Varanasi
A variety of traditions and customs associated with the Maha Shivaratri are followed by worshipers of the Lord Shiva from era in Benares. This festival is celebrated in the dark fortnight or in a moonless night. It is also considered that, at the Shivaratri Lord Shiva had performed the Tandava Nritya which is known as the dance of primeval creation, conservation and demolition. Devotees keep strict fast on this day in the respect of Shiva, they eat only fruits and drink milk, some of them do not take even a single drop of water.
At Maha Shivaratri, worship goes on whole day and night. Three hours of ritual puja performed by priests of the temple by bathing Shivalingam with the cow milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and the Gange holy water with the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” and sound bells together. A large number of devotees take part in jaagran and spend their full night by chanting Shiva mantras and other devotional songs in the honor of Lord Shiva. In the next morning devotees break their fast by taking prasad of the Lord Shiva.
Shivaratri Pooja has remarkable significance in the Hinduism. According to the Shiva Purana, Shiva worship has merits means a sincere worship give up more blessings than others.