Do you know why Shivaratri vigil and fasting are done?
On the day of Shivaratri, all the famous Shiva chants are immersed in the remembrance of Lord Shiva, Worshiped in Shivaradhana. It is believed that the Jyoti form of Lord Shiva is lit in every lingam. Of these, the twelve Jyotirlingas are the main ones. Shiva temples are crowded with devotees on the day of Mahashivaratri. Lord Shiva is worshiped with anointing and worship. Special pujas are performed throughout the day on this special day in the twelve Jyotirlingas of the country. The temples are also open at night. devotees use Shiva’s name frequently in pujas and bhajans. Lingashtakam, Shiva Panchakshari is chanted on this festival. Deeparadhana is performed and Rudrabhishekam is done with devotion. The welfare of Shiva Parvati. They spend the whole day in prayer to God, meditating and staying awake at night. Fasting and vigil are important for Shivratri.
What is the significance of the original Shivaratri? Why fast that day? Why do vigilance? Who started the vigil and when? That means it has a story. Devadanas churned the ocean for nectar. Then the hala halam was born before the elixir. All the Devadanas were terrified as it was in danger of burning the whole world if Hala halam was left as it was. They took refuge in Lord Shankara to save the world from the clutches of Hala halam. For the sake of the defense of the world, he swallowed the hala halam himself. Under the influence of Hala halam, Lord Shiva’s throat became blue and became known as Nilakanthudi. By tying the garland in the throat it caused extreme heat in Shiva. To reduce that heat he placed the moon, which was born in the Milky Way, on his head. He also kept the Ganges on his head for continuous Coolness.
However, Shiva is still bothered by the heat from the hala halam, that is why devotees are constantly anointing the Shivalinga. Lord Shiva fainted for its effect when swallowed hala halam. The deities there did himself vigil and fasting until lord shiva woke up. That is why devotees fast and stay awake on the day of Mahashivaratri which falls on Magha Bahula Chaturdashi every year. While awake, spends time chanting Shivanama and chanting Japa meditations. All this is the mythological background of the Mahashivaratri festival. In fact, Shivaradhana has existed since before the Puranas.