The Kumbh Mela comprises of many rituals including bathing ritual, which by far is the most significant ritual performed at Kumbh. Millions of pilgrims take part in the Kumbh bathing ritual at the Triveni Sangam. Performing this sacred ceremony is in accordance with the belief that by submerging oneself in the holy waters, one is purged of all their sins, release themselves and their ancestors from the cycle of rebirth and ultimate attainment of Moksha. Along with the bathing ritual, the pilgrims also worship on the banks of the holy river and participate in discourses from various sadhus and saints.
Although taking a dip in the sacred waters on all days of Prayagraj Kumbh beginning from Makar Sankranti (first day of the month of Magh, when the Sun enters Capricorn) is considered holy, yet there are some specific auspicious bathing dates. There are magnificent processions of saints and their disciples, and members of various Akharas (religious orders) take part in the ritual of Shahi Snan also known as ‘Rajyogi Snan’ at the start of Kumbh. Shahi Snan is the central highlight of Kumbh Mela and the most important part of the celebration. It is only after the Shahi Snan is complete, that people are allowed to take the holy bath, in the belief that the people will get the added advantage of the essence of holy deeds and thoughts of the saints by taking the dip after them.
This day marks the entry of Sun in its next astronomical position as per the Hindu calendar. This day marks the beginning of donations at Kumbh Mela. It is customary for pilgrims to donate as per their will.
Paush Poornima is the 15th day in the month of Shukla Paksh of the Hindu calendar month Paush. Poornima signifies the rise of the full moon. The Kumbh Mela’s unofficial beginning is marked by this day. This day also marks the beginning of Kalpvasa.
It is widely believed that on this date the planetary positions are most favorable for bathing in the holy river. On this day, Rishabh Dev, considered as the first sage broke his long vow of silence and bathed in the holy waters at Sangam. The maximum number of pilgrims are found in the mela on this day.
This day is indicative of the changing of seasons and marks the arrival of Goddess of Knowledge Saraswati as per Hindu Mythology. Kalpavasis wear yellow colored clothes this day to mark the importance of Basant Panchami.
This day is known for its association with the worship of Guru Brahaspati and the belief that Hindu god Gandharva travels from the heavens to Sangam. This day sees a surge in pilgrims at the holy ghats owing to the belief that they will be guided to heaven in their humanly form.
This day is symbolic of the last holy bath of the Kalpvasis and is directly related to Lord Shankar. As per mythology, this day is awaited in the heavens as well.