According to the Amavasyant Hindu lunar calendar, Mahashivaratri falls in the month of Magha on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi. And, if we go by the Poornimant lunar calendar, the auspicious day falls in the month of Phalguna on Krishna Paksha Trayodashi or Chaturdashi. Interestingly, the day falls on the same date. And if we were to go by the Gregorian Calendar, Mahashivaratri would be celebrated either in February or March.
Chaturdashi Tithi begins on March 7 at 01:20 PM and ends on March 8 at 10:34 AM.
Mahashivaratri 2016 Puja Timings
Nishita Kaal Puja Time
The best time to do Puja on Mahashivaratri is known as the Nishikant Kaal Puja. This is that time when the Lord Shiva is believed to have appeared on earth in the form of a Shiva Linga. This year, the Nishita Kaal Puja time is between 12:06 AM to 12:56AM.
Mahashivaratri 2016 Parana Puja timings
Maha Shivaratri Parana time starts at 6:42 AM and ends at 10:34 AM.
First Prahar Puja time starts at 18:21 PM and ends at 21:26 PM
Second Prahar Puja time starts at 21:26 PM (7th March) and ends at 00:31 AM (8th March)
Third Prahar Puja time starts at 00:31 AM and ends at 03:36 AM (8th March)
Fourth Prahar Puja time starts at 00:36 AM and ends at 06:42 AM (8th March)
Mahashivaratri Puja Vidhi
Take bath before doing Puja or visiting a temple.
Sprinkle Gangajal on the Puja area.
Light a brass or earthen lamp.
Sit down with your eyes close and invite Lord Shiva to accept your offerings.
Now, do abhishek with water on Shiv Linga or Shiva’s Moorti.
Then do Abhishek with Milk, Dahi, followed by Honey, Ghee (clarified butter) and water again.
Chant ‘OM’ or ‘OM Namah Shivaya’ while doing the Abhishek.
Use a fresh piece of cloth of gently wipe the Shiv Linga or Idol.
Use the sacred ash (Vibhuti) or bhasm and make a Tripundra on the Lord’s Forehead or on the Shiv Linga. (The Tripundra is the three famous horizontal marks). Put a Chandan Ka tika in the centre of the horizontal line in the middle. And then add kumkum ka teeka. Add Bel or Vilva leaves and flowers.
Light incense sticks and dhoop.
Then offer fruits and dry fruits to the God.
Then chant the Shiva Chalisa or the 108 names of Lord Shiva or any simple Shiva Mantra.
Meditate for a while.
Then sing the Shiva Aarti.