On the occasion of Paush Purnima, hundreds of devotees offered prayers and took a holy dip at Sangam Ghat in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj on Friday. Paush Purnima is regarded as one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. Also observed as Shankambhari Purnima, Paush Purnima is marked on the full moon day of the Paush month of the Hindu calendar. On this day, devotees take a dip in holy rivers, especially Ganga as it is considered sacred as per Hindu tradition.
Prayagraj district official said, "Elaborate arrangements have also been made for devotees. Police personnel has already deployed and tents have been set up for devotees. CCTV cameras have been stalled on all Sangam area. The surroundings and changing rooms for devotees taking a holy dip in the river, are clean and bathing ghats are very well maintained."
It is believed that bathing in the holy river on this day releases the devotees of all their past sins and grants them salvation. Many women observe fast on this day, called the 'Satyanarayana' vrat to worship Lord Vishnu. They prepare a special prasad and recite 'Satyanarayana' katha (story) in the evening.
Uttarayan is regarded as one of the biggest festivals that is celebrated in Gujarat. It is also known as the Kite festival as practising the popular kite flying sport is the main attraction on this day.
Months before the festival, homes in Gujarat begin to manufacture kites for the festival. There are many other rituals and traditions that are followed on this day. Uttarayan is celebrated in all parts of the country but with different traditions, rituals and names.
This festival marks the day when winter ends and is the beginning of summer, according to the Indian calendar. It is known as the harvest festival as it is considered the sign for farmers when the sun is back and the harvest season is approaching.
There are many cities in Gujarat that organise kite competitions where people of the city compete with each other. In 2012, the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat mentioned that the International Kite Festival in Gujarat was attempting to enter the Guinness World Records book due to the participants of 42 countries in it that year. The festival is celebrated on January 15 of every year.
(With inputs from ANI)