Magha Purnima

Magha Purnima

January-February; full moon day of Hindu month of Magha
Like Kartika Purnima, this is a Hindu bathing festival. Magha is considered to be one of the four most sacred months, and Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganges on this day is a great purifying act. When they cannot get to the Ganges, they bathe in the sea or in any holy stream, river, or tank (a pool or pond used to store water). Great bathing festivals are held at various places along the banks of the Yamuna, Sarayu, Narmad, and other holy rivers, and people walk for miles to have a bath. There is a large tank that is considered holy at Kumbhkonam, near Madras, which is also a popular destination since Hindus believe that on this particular day, the Ganges flows into the tank.
Magha Purnima is a day for fasting and charities. Early in the morning, libations are offered to dead ancestors, while donations of food, clothes, and money are given to the poor. Then Brahmans are fed and given dan-dakshina (offerings) according to one's means and capacity.
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 182
References in periodicals archive ?
The Basant Panchami and Magha Purnima on January 15 and 20, which were considered as third and fourth bathing days passed off peacefully.