IMPORTANT BATHING DATES
The main ritual performed at that Kumbh Mela is the ritual bath or Shahi Snan on most auspicious days during Kumbh Mela. Hindus believe that submerging themselves in the sacred waters on the most auspicious day of the new moon will absolve them and their ancestors of sin, thus ending the cycle of rebirth. Pilgrims start lining up to bathe from around 3 a.m. on this day.
As the sun comes up, the different groups of sadhus move in procession towards the river to bathe. The Nagas usually lead, while each group tries to outdo the others with more grandeur and fanfare. The moment is magical, and everyone is absorbed in it.
14 January 2021: Makar Sankranti (Shahi Snan)
According to ancient Indian tradition, Kumbh Mela marks its beginning on Makar Sankranti, the day when the sun and moon enter Capricorn and Jupiter enters Aries which is considered to be particularly auspicious because as per ancient belief, the path from our Earth to other higher planets is open on this day, enabling the soul to attain the heavenly world. On this day at dawn, an immense crowd of millions of pilgrims walk towards holy Ganges and there are people chanting and flags and banners flowing all over.
16 February 2021: Basant Panchami
Basant Panchami, one of the most auspicious days for Kumbh Mela. The day of Basant Panchami marks the beginning of the spring season. The festival of spring is celebrated with full vivacity and joy amongst the Hindu people. In Hindi language, the word ” Basant / Vasant” means ”spring” and ”Panchami” means the fifth day. In short, Basant Panchami is celebrated as the fifth day of Spring Season and is devoted to Goddess Saraswati, the symbol of wisdom. In northern parts of the country, this day is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm. Food is served to Brahmins and organized rituals are performed. Yellow color is the predominant color in the festival. This festival is also known as Saraswati Puja. The whole day is dedicated to indulge in activities in the Fair and after hectic day.
27 February 2021: Maghi Purnima (Sant Ravidas Jayanti)
Magh Purnima or Magha Pournami, also known as Maha Maghi, is one of the auspicious Pournami days for Hindu devotees. Purnima is considered as significant in terms of spiritual practice and performing religious rituals. Samudra Snan or Punya Nadi Snanam (holy dip in holy waters) on Maha Maghi is highly meritorious deed. It is auspicious for Snana, Daana, Japa, and Parayana.
11 March 2021: Maha Shivratri (Shahi Snan)
Maha Shivratri, a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 21st night/ 22nd day, but once a year in late winter (February/March). It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness, and the discovery of Shiva.
28 march 2021: Phalguna Purnima
Phalguna Purnima refers to the ‘full moon day’ on the eleventh month of the Hindu lunar calendar, Phalguna. It is believed that fasting from sunrise to moonlight on this day is extremely auspicious and those who observe a fast receive Lord Vishnu’s blessings and an end to all their sufferings. Devotees also take a dip in the Ganges river to wash away all their sins.
12 April 2021: Somvati Amavasya (Shahi Snan)
Somvati Amavasya is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to ” New moon day occurring on a Monday”. Amavasya or ‘new moon day’ is considered auspicious in Hindu culture. Also, on this day, married Hindu women observe a fast to pray for the long lives of their husband while unmarried Hindu ladies fast to pray for a suitable match for themselves. On this day, prayers are offered to Lord Shiva and to one’s deceased ancestors by taking a dip in the holy Ganges river and no better place than Haridwar during Kumbh Mela on this special day.
14 April 2021: Mesha Sankranti (Shahi Snan)
On Mesha Sankranti, Prayers are offered to the Sun God in celebration of the Solar New Year. Devotees make pilgrimage to holy places to mark this important Hindu festival. ‘Punya Kaal Mahurat’ is a time duration of ’40 Ghatis’ or 16 hours during which is considered auspicious for all activities such as taking bath in the holy river, offering ‘prasad’ and prayers to the Sun lord and offering charity to the needy. The important festival is celebrated with lot of fervour and festivity during Kumbh Mela.
21 April 2021: Rama Navami
On the ninth day of the first month of the Hindu lunar calendar, ‘Ram Navami’ or Lord Ram’s Birthday is celebrated with great joy and fervour. On this day, chants of “Jai Shri Rama’ are heard throughout the day and celebrations reach a crescendo during mid-day which was the birth time of Lord Rama. tradition Having a dip in the holy river is considered very auspicious and to be in Haridwar during Kumbh Mela is every Hindu’s dream.
27 April 2021: Chaitra Purnima (Shahi Snan)
The full moon day during the month of Chaitra according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar is celebrated as Chaitra Purnima. On this day, prayers are offered to Chitragupta, the keeper of Deeds, who observes our actions, labelling them as either positive Karma or negative Karma and then declares the result to Yama, the God of Death. A bath in the holy river on this day and begets them virtues for their next life especially during Kumbh Mela in Holy Ganges will remove all their sins.
26 May 2021: Vaishakha Purnima
The full moon night in the second month of the Hindu Lunar calendar is celebrated as Vaishakha Purnima among Hindu’s across India. The day has great significance as devotees indulge in charitable and religious activities. Taking a bath in the holy Ganges river is considered extremely auspicious and there is no better place than Haridwar for this special occasion.
The above dates are as per available information, but yet to be confirmed. Please check this before making your final travel program to visit Kumbh Mela.