Friday, February 13, 2009

Date of Maha Shivaratri

As most may be already aware, the festival of Maha Shivaratri (the great night of Shiva) is rapidly approaching. In the year 2009, Maha Shivaratri will fall on February 22 (North and South America, Pacific) or February 23 (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia).

Without doubt, Maha Shivaratri is one of the greatest festivals in the Hindu calendar, and the holiest day for all Shaivites. In a given solar year, there are actually twelve (or thirteen) Shivaratris, one per lunar month. Shivaratri occurs whenever the fourteenth lunar day of the waning moon (krsna paksha chaturdashi) is in effect at midnight local time.

Of the twelve (or thirteen) Shivaratris of the year, only one is considered Maha (great) Shivaratri. Within the lifetime of anyone reading this, Maha Shivaratri will fall sometime between February 12-March 13 when the Sun is in the sidereal constellation Kumbha (Aquarius).

Per the purnimanta mode of reckoning the Hindu calendar, the lunar date of Maha Shivaratri is defined as: Phalguna Krsna Chaturdashi ~ the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half (waning moon) in the month of Phalguna. The purnimanta mode is in vogue in Northern and Central India, parts of Orissa, Nepal and among Hindus in Pakistan.

Per the amanta mode of reckoning the Hindu calendar, the lunar date of Maha Shivaratri is defined as: Magha Krsna Chaturdashi ~ the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half (waning moon) in the month of Magha. The amanta mode is in vogue in Southern, Eastern and Western India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and among Hindus in South-East Asia.

Regardless of which reckoning mode one uses, the date and time of Maha Shivaratri is exactly the same. The two reckonings are, in fact, two ways of saying the same thing. The two systems only differ in how they define lunar months - whether they go from full moon to full moon (purnimanta) or new moon to new moon (amanta). However, it must be remembered that Maha Shivaratri, like all festivals on the Hindu calendar, does not necessarily fall on the same day throughout the world. One must observe this festival according to its actual occurance in your time zone.

As was stated at the beginning of the post, in all time zones that cover North and South America and the Pacific, Maha Shivaratri is to be observed on Sunday, February 22, 2009. In all time zones that cover Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, Maha Shivaratri is to be observed on Monday, February 23, 2009. Full celebrations generally begin around 6 pm on the given date, and continue on until 6 am (or local sunrise) on the following day.

Aum Namah Shivaya.
Phalguna Krsna 5, Samvat 2065
(Plava Samvatsara, Yugabda 5110) [?]

3 comments:

shiva said...

Happy Maha Shivratri 2009 (:

Agnideva said...

A very happy and blessed Maha Shivaratri to you and all my readers. :)

Aum Namah Shivaya.

avagdro said...

Thank you Agnideva,Wish you and all across the world a tremendous joyful Maha Shivaratri.

Thank you.

Send Shivaratri gifts to Chennai | Send Shivaratri gifts to Bangalore

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Search Shivadarshana

Custom Search
Google