India and Indians across the globe are celebrating Maha Shivratri on Tuesday. According to North Indian calendar, Masik Shivratri in the month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri and according to the South Indian calendar, Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in the month of Magha is celebrated as Maha Shivratri. It’s the same day, but because of the difference of naming convention of the lunar calendar, they seem to appear in different months.How to celebrate Maha ShivratriAlso readMaha Shivratri 2018: Witness live darshan of Lord Shiva at Somnath temple1. On the day of Shivratri, a three-tiered platform is built around a fire. The topmost plank represents ‘swargaloka’ (heaven), the middle one ‘antarikshaloka’ (space) and the bottom one ‘bhuloka’ (earth).2. Eleven ‘kalash’ or urns are kept on the ‘swargaloka’ plank symbolising the 11 manifestations of the ‘Rudra’ or destructive Shiva. Also readThis Maha Shivratri, know about 12 jyotirlingas and their significance3. The phallus symbol representing Shiva is called the lingam. It is usually made of granite, soapstone, quartz, marble or metal, and has a ‘yoni’ or vagina as its base representing the union of organs.4. Lingam is bathed every three hours with the 5 sacred offerings of a cow, called the ‘panchagavya’ – milk, sour milk, urine, butter and dung.Also readMaha Shivratri 2018: Significance, Date, and how to celebrate5. Then the five foods of immortality – milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar are placed before the lingam.6. Datura fruit and flower are believed to be sacred to Shiva and thus offered to him.Maha Shivratri MuhurtaThe Chaturdashi tithi will begin at 10.34 pm on February 13 and it will end at 12.46 pm on February 15.Nishita Kaal Puja Time = 12:09 am to 1:01 am on February 14Ratri First Prahar Puja Time = 6:05 pm to 9:20 pm on February 13Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time = 09:20 pm to 12:35 am on February 14Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time = 12:35 am to 3:49 am on February 14Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time = 3:49 am to 7:04 am on February 14On 14th February, Maha Shivaratri Parana Time = 07:04 am to 3:20 pm

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Maha Shivratri 2018: Puja Muhurat, fasting and auspicious timings to celebrate the festival