According to the Skandha Purana, Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga having the same effect as crores of suns on the night of Mahashivaratri to destroy the deep darkness of the earth. There is also a marriage anniversary of Mahadev-Mahadevi on this night. Shivratri comes in every month but Mahashivratri comes once in a year. The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated on the Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha of Falgun month, the significance of Mahashivratri is because it is the night of union of Shiva and Shakti. Spiritually it is described as the night of union of nature and man. Shiva devotees keep a fast on this day and get the blessings of their adoration. The ceremony of Jalabhishek in the temples continues throughout the day. But do you know why Mahashivratri is celebrated?
According to the scriptures, Shiva appeared for the first time on the day of Mahashivaratri. The appearance of Shiva was in the form of Jyotirlinga i.e. Shivalinga of fire. Such a Shivling which had neither beginning nor end. It is said that in order to locate the Shivling, Brahmaji was trying to see the topmost part of the Shivling in the form of a swan but he could not succeed. He could not even reach the topmost part of the Shivling. On the other hand Lord Vishnu was also looking for the base of Shivling by taking the form of Varaha but he also could not find the base. Then Lord Vishnu, accepting his defeat, requested the fire pillar to tell the secret. Then Lord Shiva said that both of you are the best, but I am the Supreme beyond the beginning and the end. After this Lord Vishnu and Brahma ji worshiped that fire pillar and that pillar turned into a divine Jyotirlinga. The day this incident happened, it was Chaturdashi of Falgun month. Then Shiva said that whoever does my fast and worship on this day, all his troubles will be removed and his wishes will be fulfilled. Since then this day was celebrated as Mahashivratri.
According to Shiva Purana, on the day of Mahashivaratri, twelve Jyotirlingas had appeared across the country. These 12 Jyotirlingas are: Somnath Jyotirlinga, Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Vishwanath Jyotirlinga, Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Rameshwar Jyotirling and Ghrishwar Jyotirling.
The meeting of Shiva and Shakti took place: According to a legend, Mata Parvati did hard penance to get Shiva as her husband. As a result of which Mata Parvati was married to Lord Shiva on the Chaturdashi date of Falgun Krishna Paksha. Shiva had entered the householder life from detachment. As a celebration of the union of Shiva and Shakti, on the day of Mahashivratri, devotees observe this festival by fasting and worshiping and seek the blessings of Shiva and Shakti.