India Tries Canceling Holiday Swim as Thousands Line Up Along Ganges River

India Tries Canceling Holiday Swim as Thousands Line Up Along Ganges River


Indian officials concerned about the omicron coronavirus outbreak are trying to cancel this weekend’s holiday swim in the Ganges River, even as thousands of Hindus line up along its banks, and their numbers could easily swell into the millions.

Friday brings the first major festival of the year for Hindus, a holiday known as Makar Sankranti which commemorates the end of winter in India. The festival is dedicated to the sun god Surya and timed to coincide with the sun appearing to enter the constellation Capricorn, which is called “Makara” in the most common Indian dialect.

Hindus believe bathing in the Ganges and other sacred rivers during the Makar Sankranti holiday washes away their sins and brings good fortune during the coming harvest

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