In Orissa, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with a great religious fervour and devotion. Major centers of Shivaratri celebrations in Orissa are Lingaraj Temple and Hattakeswar Temple near Atri. Shiva temples located at Mahendragiri, Gupteswar, Kapilas, Bhubaneswar and Khiching also draw a large of devotees from across the State.
In Odisha, Maha Shivaratri is called as Jagar by many. Shivaratri celebration at Lokanath Temple, Puri is very famous. According to a legend popular in Orissa, long ago, Puri was a center of Shiva worship. It is believed that Lord Ramachandra himself installed the Lingam in the Lokanath Temple. This lingam is kept submerged, in a vat of water for the whole year.
It can only be seen on Pankoddhar Ekadashee or Pankojjala Ekadashee, three days before Shivaratri, when the water is removed from the vat. On that day, thousands of devotees come for a darshan. In some places big fairs are arranged where large varieties of goods and implements are bought and sold. Some places are also found with Bhajan Sandhya (Musical Night on Shiva Vandana).
Maha Sivaratri is a festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Phalguna (February-March) in the Hindu calendar.
This day is regarded as one of the auspicious day all over India. According to Hindu religious scripture this day is considered as Lord Shivaâ€™s favourite day. So from that day Maha Shivaratri is celebrated all over India. Legend days, it was on the auspicious night of Shivaratri that Lord Shiva performed the â€˜Tandavaâ€™, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction.
Another popular Shivaratri legend stated in Linga Purana states that it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga.
In 2013, Shibaratri will be celebrated on 10th March (Sunday).