The Kumbh Mela is oldest and the world’s largest religious gathering and has deep spiritual and religious importance for Hindus all over the country. According to Hindu scriptures, it has a wide faith that those who take a dip in the holy water of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers at Sangam ghat during the festival will get rid of all sins and might attain liberation.
The event is witnessed by more than 15 crore pilgrims and visitors across the globe. Along with the bathing ritual, devotees also perform lot of different rituals during the Kumbh which they believe would help them release their ancestors from the cycle of rebirth and attain ultimate liberation without any sufferings.
The customs at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj will be commencing from January 15 (Makar Sankranti). Makar Sankranti is the first day of the month of Magh when the Sun enters Capricorn and thus becomes the first day to celebrate. There is some more particular auspicious bathing dates when the city has a sea of pilgrims thronging the ghats to have a dip in the sacred water. Here is the list of special bathing dates:
January 15 Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is a glorious day as on this day Sun enters Capricorn. The day is believed to be holy among the Hindus. Shahi snan is held on the day that is the major highlight of whole Kumbh Mela and the most integral part. It is only after this day, people take the holy bath in the Sangam.
January 21 Paush Purnima
Paush Poornima constitutes the 15th day Shukla Paksh of the Hindu calendar month Paush. Pausha is one of the months of the Hindu calendar. The day implies the beginning of Kalpvasa.
February 4 Mauni Amavasya
Hindus have faith that it was on this day, Rishabh Dev the first sage, broke his long vow of silence and bathed at Sangam of the three rivers. The maximum pilgrims are seen on this day of the festival as the planetary positions are most favorable for bathing in the holy waters.
February 10 Basant Panchami
Basant Panchami is a Hindu festival which falls on the fifth day of Magh month. This day is marked by Hindus to worship Goddess Saraswati. The day is also a symbol of the arrival of spring. On this day, Kalpavasis wear yellow clothes as a tradition.
February 19 Maghi Purnima
Maghi Purnina is a full Moon day that occurs on the 15th day of Magh month of Hindi calendar. The day is celebrated for Guru Brihaspati. It is trusted that god Gandharva had travelled from heaven to Sangam. Hindus will be taken to heaven in their humanly form if they take a sacred dip in the Sangam water on this day.
March 4 Mahashivratri
Mahashivratri is the end of the Kumbh Mela. Mahashivratri is a massive Hindu festival that is famous to worship God Shiv. As per Hindu mythology, this day is celebrated in the heavens as well.