Religious Hindus attach great importance to this bathing ceremony and it forms the most important ritual of the Maha Kumbh Mela as also of the other Kumbh Melas.
The last Kumbh Mela was hosted at Allahabad in January 2013 during the months of Jan - Feb. During this 45 days carnival, more than 65 million Hindu pilgrims took part and make it the largest gathering.
Taking bath on the new moon day has its own significance where the Holy Rivers Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati meet. It is also known as Prayag Snan.
The auspicious holy bathing dates at the Kumbh Mela have been given below. On the main bathing dates there will be a colorful, magnificent procession of radiant saints on chariots and elephants at sunrise. As the saints pass by, they impart blessings of divine grace to all the people. Then the glorious saints take their dip (shahi snan) in the Holy River Ganges. This takes place according to tradition, each group proceed to the river and then bath in a particular sequence. After all these groups have bathed, pilgrims from all over the world take bath in the River Ganges.
Kumbh mela will be held in Prayag Raj (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh) in 2019 from 1st January – 30th April.
- 15th January 2019 (Monday) - Makar Sankranti Snan - First Snan (bath)
This is the first of the big bathing days. According to Hindu Astrology, on this day the Sun enters the constellation Capricorn. This day is celebrated all over India.
- 21st January 2019 (Sunday) – Paush Purnima ( Fullmoon) - Second Snan (bath)
Paush Purnima is a significant day in Hindu calendar. It marks the beginning of one month long austerity period which is observed during Magha month. In lunar calendar followed in North India Magha month starts from the next day of Paush Purnima.
- 04th February 2019 (Sunday) – Mauni Amavasya (New Moon) – Third Snan / Royal Bath
This is "New Moon of the Saints." For the holy men and women, this is a main bathing day where they participate in gilded and naked processions. It is also a day when new members to various holy monastic orders receive their first initiation.
- 10th February 2019 (Saturday) Basant Panchmi Snan - Forth Snan (bath)
This is the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar month and is the beginning of spring in North India. Traditionally, people wear yellow on this day. It is a day when people pray to the Gods for a good bumper harvest.
- 19th February 2019 (Monday) - Magh Purnima Snan - Fifth Snan (bath)
This is the full moon in the month of Magha (January - February). Winter is a memory and the moon shines over the two holy rivers.
- 04th March 2019 (Sunday) - Maha Shivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - Royal Bath
This is the Great Night of Shiva, the Naked One, from whose dreadlocks the Ganges flows. He married Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas on this day. Shiva has many followers, but none more so than the naked Naga sadhus who live life in imitation of him.