The Maha Shivratri Jayanti in the year 2015 will be celebrated on 17th February. The festival of Shivratri is considered to be the auspicious festival as on this day people devote themselves to Lord Shiva. This day is considered to be the day of convergence of Shakti and Lord Shiva. According to the North India calendar this festival is celebrated in the month of Phalguna. On the other hand, according to South Indian calendar this day is celebrated in the month of Magha. In both of the calendars there is the difference of the naming convention because the lunar month differs in both of them.
On this festival many devotees keep fasts in order to please the Lord Shiva. On the day of trayodashi i.e. one day before Shivratri devotees should eat the food only one time. On the day of the festival i.e. during the day of Shivratri, after completing all the rituals in the morning devotees should take the oath of observing the fast for the full day and to intake the food on the next day when the festival is over. On this day, people take the pledge for the self-determination so that they can complete their fasts and can attain the blessings of the god. People take the blessings from the god so that they can complete the fast with full dedication and devotion. On the festival of the Shivratri people should take the bath in the evening also before doing the Shivratri puja and visiting the temple. The Shiv Puja, is generally done at night and the fast is broken on the next day after taking the bath. The fast is generally break between the sunrise and before the end of Chaturdashi Tithi to get the maximum benefit out of the Vrat. This fast brings the happiness and harmony in the life of the individual. The fast is generally broken during the time of Chaturdashi Tithi.
The Shivratri puja can be performed either only one time or four times during the night time. The duration of the night can be divided into four parts to get four Parhar so that the Shiva puja can be performed four times. There are certain durations of the Parhar where the puja is performed. The timings of the four Parhar are as follows