Kumbha Sankranti 2024 Date, Time, Rituals & Importance
Kumbha Sankranti occurs when the Sun transits from Makar to Kumbha. According to the Hindu Solar calendar, the eleventh month has just begun. The favorable time of day is quite limited and varies from year to year due to the sun’s position. It is the day that the Kumbha Mela, the largest religious festival in the world, takes place in one location. Millions of people bathe in the Ganges River to cleanse themselves and their surroundings of all evil and impurity.
Many Hindus throughout India celebrate Kumbha Sankranti, but the people of Eastern India do so with the most enthusiasm. According to the Malayalam calendar, it is the Masi Masam festival, which marks the beginning of the Falgun Maas for the West Bengalis. Devotees travel to the holy cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik to bathe in the Ganges and pray to God for future prosperity and good fortune. On this day, the temples on the banks of these cities are packed with devotees.
Kumbha Sankranti Date 2024
Tuesday, 13 February 2024
Legends of Kumbha Sankranti
The Kumbha Mela evolved from a time when Gods and Demons inhabited Earth.
Kumbh is the container of Amrit that emerged from the Krishna Ganga, also known as the milky ocean. According to legends, the Devtas had lost their superior authority. To regain their power, they approached Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, but led the Asuras to Lord Vishnu.
Lord Brahma taught them the strategy for regaining authority. He advised the Devas to stir the Krishna Sagar in order to obtain Amrit. Due to the difficulty of the undertaking, Gods and Demons agreed to share the pot.
When the cauldron of Amrit emerged, Gods and Demons engaged in battle. The conflict lasted for twelve days and nights.
At the conclusion, Lord Vishnu disguised himself as the attractive woman Mohini and flew away with the vessel. While in flight, droplets from the pot landed in four distinct locations: Allahbad, Haridwar, Ujjinabad, and Nashik. Therefore, the Kumbha Mela festival is held every twelve years at these four locations.
Rituals of Kumbha Sankranti
- On the day of Kumbha Sankranti, devotees should donate food, clothing, and other necessities to the Brahmin Pandits, as should all other Sankranti devotees.
- Moksha can be attained by taking a bath in the sacred waters of the Ganges on this day.
- For a happy and prosperous existence, a devotee must pray with a pure heart and meditate on the goddess Ganga.
- People who are unable to visit the banks of the Ganges can also cleanse themselves in the Yamuna, Godavari, and Shipra rivers.
- On Kumbha Sankranti, it is considered auspicious and beneficial to present a cow as an offering.
Importance of Kumbha Sankranti
Once every twelve years, the Kumbha Mela is observed and commemorated in religious sites such as Haridwar, Allahabad, and the Godavari River in Nasik. The purpose of a once-in-a-lifetime dip in any of the holy locations is to purge oneself of all sins. Men and women participate in equal proportions in this ritual on this holy day.