Lord Shiva is the third deity in the Hindu trilogy, along with Lord Brahma and Vishnu. He is the destroyer of all evil, and the one who bestows the greatest blessings when pleased. The main festival that is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva is known as Maha Shivratri. This festival is celebrated once a year. During the Hindu month of maagh, on the 13th night, the celebration of Mahashivratri begins and continuous till 14th morning. Some believe this to be the night when Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. This is also considered to be the occasion on which He performed the taandav.
The word “Shiva Ratri” literally translates to “Night of the Lord Shiva”. As per Puranas, during the churning of the ocean, a pot of poison emerged, which had the power to destroy the entire world. Lord Shiva drank the entire pot of poison (turning his throat blue) to save humanity thus gaining him the name “Neel (Blue) – Kanth (Throat)”. The festival of Shivratri celebrates this event.
It is to be noted that a Puja and Homam performed on the day of Maha Shivaratri is considered most auspicious for bringing Health, Wealth and Happiness, Peace and Prosperity to the worshipper.