Maha Shivratri is the night of the worship of Shiva. It occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna in the month of February or March when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction.
Many devotees also observe all-day fasting and an all-night-long vigil and chant the sacred mantra dedicated to Lord “Om Namah Shivaya”. Some devotees also do penances to gain boons in the practice of Yoga and meditation.
In Nepal, millions of Hindus attend Shivaratri together from different part of the world at the famous Pashupatinath Temple. Thousand of devotees also attend Mahasivaratri at all the different famous Shiva Shakti Peetham of Nepal.
According to the Puranas, during the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. The gods and the demons were terrified as it could destroy the entire world. When they ran to Shiva for help, he in order to protect the world, drank the deadly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This turned his throat blue, and since then he came to be known as ‘Nilkantha’, the blue-throated one. Shivratri celebrates this event by which Shiva saved the world.
Shivratri is therefore a day of thanksgiving to the Lord for protecting the world .