The Kumbh Mela is a major pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism. It is celebrated in a cycle of approximately 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites: the Allahabad (Ganges-Yamuna Sarasvati rivers confluence), Haridwar (Ganges), Nashik (Godavari), and Ujjain. The festival is marked by a ritual dip in the waters, but it is also a celebration of community commerce with numerous fairs, education, religious discourses by saints, mass feedings of monks or the poor, and entertainment spectacle. The seekers believe that bathing in these rivers is a means to atonement, penance for past mistakes, and that it cleanses them of their sins. Approximately 50 and 30 million people attended the Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela in 2019 and Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013 respectively to bathe in the holy river Ganges, making them the largest peaceful gathering events in the world. In 2021 the Kumbh Mela will be held in Hardiwar.
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