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Enjoying the Magh Mela

January 14, 2008
In the northern parts of India like Uttar Pradesh, Sankranti is called Khichiri.

During Khichiri, you begin the day by taking a dip in the Ganga and offering water to the Sun God. The dip is said to purify the self and bestow punya. Special puja is offered as a thanksgiving for the good harvest.

A big, month-long Magha Mela fair begins at Prayag (Allahabad) on this occasion. Apart from Triveni, ritual bathing also takes place at Haridwar and Garh Mukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, Patna in Bihar and Ganga Sagar Mela in Bengal

Image: Hindu pilgrims play music before taking a holy dip in Sagar Island, south of Calcutta during the Gangasagar Mela.

Photographs: Deshkalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images

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