There are twelve sankranti days or conjunctions according tthe Hindu calendar. Kumbha sankranti marks the beginning of the eleventh month according tthe Hindu Solar calendar.
Etymologically, from Sanskrit, San means good or plenty and Kranti means a radical change. Thus the word Sankranti means a time ushering in plenty of good and positive changes. It is perceived that during the Kumbha Sankranti the Sun transits and moves from Makar Rashi tKumbha Rashi.
Kumbha Sankranti sees the Kumbha Mela in Prayag , which is easily the biggest and the most religious gathering in the world.
- Legends surrounding the Kumbha Sankranti –
Our holy scripture Bhagwad Purana alsmentioned Kumbha sankranti. Kumbha Mela has been celebrated since the time of King Harshavardhana, in the circa 629 CE. The Kumbh Mela is celebrated once every twelve years. Devotees take bath in the rivers. Ganges in Haridwar, Yamuna in Allahabad, Shipra in Ujjain and Godavari In Nasik is thronged by devotees ttake a holy dip. It is believed that a dip washes away all your sins and purifies one completely.
- Kumbha sankranti celebrations –
- Devotees wake up early on this day and make a beeline thave a holy dip in the river. Having a dip they seek blessing from the Goddess Ganga. After the holy bath, the devotees then head tthe nearby temple located on the banks of the rivers tseek further blessings from the Goddess for her benevolence, for peace and happiness.
- Making offering of cows are considered sacred and devotees in Allahabad and Haridwar are often seen making the auspicious offering of cow on this day.
- Bathing in the river Ganges is considered tbe the most auspicious, and it is said tincrease manifold if done on a Kumbha Sankranti. It is believed that the devout bathing in the Ganges on the Kumbha Sankranti, are freed from the cycle of numerous rebirths and attain Moksha or ultimate nirvana.
- The other holy rivers like the Sipra, Godavari etc toare extremely important, and a holy dip in them on this day assures the devotees of a happy life henceforth with all their sins purged. The holy dip taken on this is known as the Sankramana Snana.
- In Eastern India, The Kumbha Sankranti sees special rituals being followed. It begins the Falgun Maas in West Bengal. According tMalayalam calendar the Kumbha Sankranti sees the beginning of the Kumbha Masam and the sankranti festival is known as the Masi Masam.
- The Kumbha Mela –
The Kumbha Mela held in once every twelve years sees millions of people converging from all over the world, either tpurge themselves of their sins or tseek one’s own self out. It has attracted people from all over the world, of all races and creed, and has gone on tgain International recognition. Coverage of the same is telecasted in many places, such is the fervor of this occasion. People are said tfeel in peace and harmony at this period of having the bath, and it is unique the way they leave the worldly pleasure and seek out spiritual blessing on this day of the Kumbha Sankranti.