Mahashivratri celebrations have not just gripped India but several parts of the world. New York’s Times Square was lit up on Monday night with chants of ‘Shiva’ and ‘Shambhoo’ echoing in the air.

New York’s Times Square lights up for Mahashivratri(Twitter)

Founder of Isha Foundation – Sadhguru – shared the video of the fervour in Times Square on X, formerly known as Twitter. In the video, Indians along with people from around the world can be seen dancing to the beats of ‘Har Har Mahadev’.

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“#TimesSquare, New York welcomes #Mahashivratri! The world is realising the significance of the Great Night of Shiva as a celebration of enhancing human potential and an opportunity for transformation. Let us make it happen,” he wrote.

Mahashivratri is one of the most important Hindu festivals. It falls on the 14th day of the dark (waning) half of the lunar month of Phalguna or Magha, a day before the new moon. This year, it is being observed on March 8. The festival is mentioned in ancient texts such as Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, and Padma Purana.

During the festival, devotees pray all night and participate in jagrans as it is believed that it can help overcome darkness and ignorance. Lord Shiva is offered belpatra, dhatura, milk, fruits, and sweets as the devotees observe a day-long fast from sunrise to sunset. The devotees also meditate, visit Shiva temples, recite mantras and prayers, and perform rituals associated with Lord Shiva. According to beliefs, fasting on Mahashivratri can help absolve past sins and negative karma and give one a new direction in life. It is also known for one to reflect on their true nature and attain salvation from the chakra of birth and death.

The festival is celebrated in different ways across states as well. While people in Odisha organise ‘Jagara’, a ‘mela’ is held in Gujarat. In Punjab, Shobha Yatras are organised by various Hindu organisations. In West Bengal and Odisha, unmarried girls also observe a fast to find a suitable husband.


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