Kumbha Sankranti refers to the day on which the Sun transits from Makar rashi and enters Kumbha rashi. As per the Hindu Solar calendar, it is the start of the eleventh month. The muhurat or the auspicious time on the day of Sankranti carries every year due to the position of the sun and is quite limited. On this day the largest festival of the world i.e. the Kumbh Mela takes place. Millions of people flock the holy rivers in various cities to have a sacred bath and get rid of all their past sins. In 2022, Kumbha Sankranti falls on 13th February, Sunday.
Significance of Kumbha Sankranti
As per legends, once the Gods (Devatas) and the Demons decided to churn the ocean together. When they churned the ocean, many things came out of it, out of which the most important of which was the nectar urn. To protect the nectar from the demons, the Gods hid the pot of nectar in Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. It is said that the nectar falls in these four places on the day of Kumbha Sankranti. This is the reason that these four places are considered sacred and a Kumbh Mela is organized every 6 years and Maha Kumbh Mela every 12 years at these places.
Benefits of Kumbha Sankranti
The glory and importance of Kumbha Sankranti has been described in Hindu scriptures. The festival is considered even more important than festivals like Purnima, Amavasya and Ekadashi. It is believed that by taking a bath at these four places a person gets freedom from all his sins and attains salvation. Doing charity work on the occasion of Kumbha Sankranti is considered very auspicious and the person doing so is believed to get all his desires and wishes fulfilled with the blessings of the Surya Devata (Sun God).
- The devotees should wake up early in the morning and take a holy bath in any sacred river. Adding Gangajal to normal water for the holy bath also works for people who cannot travel or visit pilgrimage sites.
- Then they should wear new clothes and offer “Arghya” to the Sun God. Lord Surya is worshipped with elaborate rituals on this day and the devotees also read the Surya Chalisa. The puja is conducted in the morning, just after taking a holy bath and witnessing the sunrise.
- Lastly, donating various things such as food items, clothes and other necessities to the Brahmins and the poor and needy holds a central importance in the ritual. Offering food to cows on the day of Kumbh Sankranti is also regarded as very auspicious.
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