- Keep fasting or do Phalaahar and in the evening around 8 PM take ritual bath, using warm water and seeds of black sesame. It is a popular belief that by bathing in warm water, with few seeds of black sesame, the body is purified.
- Wear new clothes.
- Sit on Aasan or woolen blanket
- Purify yourself and around you with Mantra and water.
- Smear bhasma (holy ash) on forehead.
- Wear purified Rudraksha Mala.
- Lit Deepak, Dhoop and Incense sticks.
- Do Abhishek of Shivalinga with milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water. These six items are necessary for abhishek on Shivaratri.
- Offer Aaka Flower Garland.
- Offer Flower like Dhatura, Aaka etc.
- Thereafter, while making sound from Bell, offer Bilwa leaves to Lord Shiva (or Linga) and chant mantra with great devotion for at least 108 times - 'Om Namah Shivaya'. 11 Mala (i.e. 11 x 108 = 1188 times) Chanting is also recommendable.