This day symbolises the commencement of Sun's changeover i.e. transition from Aquarius (Makar) to Pisces (Kumbha).
There are 12 Sankrantis in Hindu religion and Kumbha Sankranti is observed as the second last. The time varies from year to year. This is one of the largest religious festivals where people gather at one place to celebrate the festivities. The place is known as Kumbha Mela. Millions of people accumulate at the place and take bath in holy River Ganga to remove their sins.
Kumbha celebrations comprises of three main Parvakaalas- Makar Sanskranti, Mauni Amavasya and Vasant Panchmi. The Holy bath in the River Ganga has great significant.
Legends of Kumbha Sankranti :
Kumbha mela evolves from the phase when Gods and Demons used to reside on Earth.
Kumbh means "pot", pot of Amrit that emerged from the Krishna Ganga known as ocean of milk. According to the legends, Devtas had lost their elevated power. In order to retrieve their power, they went to Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, but conducted the Asuras to Lord Vishnu.
Lord Brahma instructed them the tactic to regain power. He advised Devtas to churn the Krishna Sagar and receive Amrit. Since the task was difficult, so Gods and Demons agreed to share the pot mutually.
When the pot of Amrit emerged, a battle took place between Gods and Demons. The battle continued for twelve days and twelve nights.
At the end, Lord Vishnu impersonated himself as the beautiful lady, Mohini and flew away taking the pot. While flying, drops from the pot fell down to four different places, Allahbad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. Therefore, the fair i.e. Kumbha Mela is celebrated every twelve years at these four places
Where is Kumbha Mela celebrated?
Rituals of the day:
Importance of taking bath in River Ganga on Kumbha Sanskranti