Millions of Hindus bathe in Ganges to cleanse sins - Jan 15th, 2013 - International
— Millions of devout Hindus have plunged into the Ganges (GAN'-jeez) River in India in a ritual meant to wash away their sins.
Monday was considered the most auspicious day of the Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, that lasts 55 days and is one of the world's largest religious gatherings. The day's significance is based on astrological signs.
Top festival official Mani Prasad Mishra says nearly 3 million people bathed by late morning and 11 million were expected to enter the frigid water by day's end.
Devout Hindus believe bathing in the Ganges during the festival can cleanse their sins and free them from the cycle of death and rebirth.