Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Lord Shiva, occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna. It falls on a moonless February night, when Hindus offer special prayer to the Lord of destruction. Shivratri (Sanskrit 'ratri' = night) is the night when he is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. The festival is observed for one day and one night only.
Importance of Performing Bel Patra Archana on MahaShivratri day
Bael patra (Bilva leaves) represent the three important nadies (nerves), namely, Ida, Pingla and Sushumana. Joining of these three nadies cleanses the brahma nadi of all the sins and opens the passage for the vital force, the Kundalini to reach the Ajna Chakra. The Ajna chakra is positioned at the eyebrow region and has two white petals, said to represent the psychic channels, Ida and Pingala, which meet here with the central Sushumna nadi before rising to the crown chakra, Sahasrara. The vital air helps it to be seated with Shiva in the Sahasrara (the thousand petal plexus). This is known as marriage of Shiva with Parvati. The divine blessing that accrues from it is the realization of the Self by gaining omniscience which marks the end of circle of life and death.