Ganga Dussehra is a religious festival celebrated on every 10th day or Dashmi of the third month of the Hindu calendar. This year it will be celebrated on May 24th across India, specifically the northern parts of India. The festival is observed to celebrate the descent of the river Ganges. It is believed in Hinduism that Goddess Ganga descended from heaven to Earth on this auspicious day.
As per the Hindu Calendar, the Dashami Tithi will begin at 7:12 pm on May 23 and will continue till 6:18 pm on May 24. The festival lasts for 10 days and throughout these days the devotees take a holy dip in river Ganga. It’s believed that taking a dip in River Ganga can make a person get rid of 10 types of sins that he/she may have committed.
Ganga Dussehra celebrations also include making donations and keeping fasts. It is observed in states through which the River flows, namely Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal. Pilgrims from far off places visit the river in cities like Allahabad, Haridwar, Varanasi, and Rishikesh. They worship the river, take bath, and pray for the wellbeing of their loved ones.
This festival is considered to be highly auspicious to visit the banks of the river Ganges. After taking a holy dip and performing the customs and rituals, people also take water from the river in containers and give it to their family members back at home. The water is considered to be so pure and holy that it is believed to cure ailments and heal the person physically and spiritually.
In Hindu Mythology, River Ganga is a Goddess who is worshipped by the devotees across the country. Although it has been a common practice from a very long time that people offer flowers and other items to the river, in the past few years, the water pollution has raised concerns and the government is trying hard to clean the river. It is quite ironic that the devotees call the River Ganga pure and then pollute it, which is why it’s high time that people apply logic and keep it in mind that their beliefs shouldn’t harm the nature.