10 March 2024

Mahashivratri: the global Yogic festival

A night of guided meditations by renowned Indian Yogi Sadhguru, music, dance, and cultural extravaganza, it has attracted over 150 million Yoga practitioners from 192 countries across the globe
On 8 March, the Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, south India, hosted celebrations for Mahashivratri, a night-long Yogic festival and one of the most critical dates in India’s spiritual calendar.
This year, the nightlong festival began at 6 p.m. on 8 March and continued until 6 a.m. the following morning. Isha’s Mahashivratri celebrations have taken Europe by storm recently, attracting thousands of Yoga practitioners and spiritual seekers to events in 48 major cities across 27 European countries, where the festivities from India were streamed.

Isha Mahashivratri. Photo: Copyright © Fondazione Isha Press
Isha Mahashivratri. Photo: Copyright © Fondazione Isha Press
Mahashivratri is unique as a cultural festival with massive global participation. This year’s 150 million viewing solid audience was 8x that of the Grammys (16.9 million people in 2024). Tens of thousands of participants from 72 nations and over 4,000 volunteers participated in the mega event, which was broadcast in 22 languages across the globe and was live-streamed by over 200 television channels and digital platforms. The event was screened on select cinema screens across India for the first time.
Isha Mahashivratri. Photo: Copyright © Fondazione Isha Press
At Isha, Mahashivratri is celebrated not as a religious festival but as a night of particular significance for yoga practitioners across the globe. The darkest night of the year, it is said in the Yogic tradition that there is a natural upsurge in energy around the world that evening, and staying awake with an erect spine can support inner well-being and spiritual growth. In support of this, many contemporary and classical Indian and international musical artists and the renowned dance troupe Isha Samskriti performed. Renowned Indian Yogi Sadhguru also led the global audience in several guided meditations during the evening.
Isha Mahashivratri. Photo: Copyright © Fondazione Isha Press
In attendance were politicians from across India’s political spectrum, including Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice President of India; Sri Thiru RN Ravi (Governor of Tamil Nadu); Shri Indrasena Reddy (Governor of Tripura); and Shri Banwarilal Purohit (Governor of Punjab).
“You are not only inspiring young people to practise but also inspiring them to take Yoga to all corners of the world”, Shri Dhankhar said, Vice President of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, speaking during his keynote speech at the celebrations.
Isha Mahashivratri. Photo: Copyright © Fondazione Isha Press
The Isha Foundation, founded by renowned Indian Yogi Sadhguru, offers a cultural extravaganza of music, dance and guided meditations for Mahashivratri, providing an ideal ambience for spiritual seekers to enjoy and experience the festival. The Isha Yoga Centre, situated in the foothills of the stunning Velliangiri mountains in south India, is dedicated to fostering inner transformation, helping individuals shift to healthier lifestyles, seek a higher level of self-fulfilment and realise their full potential. The large residential facility houses an active international community of residents, volunteers and visitors.
Isha Mahashivratri. Photo: Copyright © Fondazione Isha Press
The Isha Mahashivratri celebrations also included a free meal for the tens of thousands of in-person participants, a vital aspect of the Yogic spiritual culture known as ‘Maha Annadanam’. The celebrations occur with the impressive 112-foot bust of Adiyogi, or the ‘first yogi’, recognised by Guinness World Records as the “Largest Bust Sculpture” in the world.  
The Isha Foundation, founded by Sadhguru, is a volunteer-run, international nonprofit organisation dedicated to raising human consciousness. It is a human service organisation that recognises the possibility of each person empowering another and restoring the global community through inspiration and individual transformation. Since 2007, the Isha Foundation has held special consultancy status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.  
Edited by editorial staff, Avion Tourism Magazine
Text source and photos: Copyright © Fondazione Isha Press

Conscious Planet Save the Soil is the movement, and each one of us can become an active part by staying informed, promoting the movement, participating in events, and raising awareness among politicians. Learn more about the movement and how to become an Earth Buddy.
You might be interested in
The texts are protected by copyright and cannot be copied.
If you wish, you can share this page.
Be inspired
Subscribe to our newsletter and get useful tips for your next trip