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When is the Next Kumbh Mela? Upcoming Kumbha Mela Festivals
India's Kumbh Mela Festival
The Kumbh Mela is the world's largest gathering of people, a multi-week religious pilgrimage that takes place every 12 years in rotating cities in India and attracts tens of millions of devotees. Believers come to the festival to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River and be released from their sins. Here's a calendar to help you figure out when the next Kumbh Mela will be held, as well as some more information about the mela.
Learn More About the Kumbh Mela
When is the Next Kumbh Mela?
Here are the next Kumbh Mela dates for each of the rotating cities that hold the festival. The Maha Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela is held halfway between the larger events. The next Kumbh Mela will be the Allahabad Kumbh Mela, which starts January 27, 2013.
2013 Maha Kumbh Mela
2019 Ardh Kumbh Mela
2016 Maha Kumbh Mela
2022 Ardh Kumbh
2019 Maha Kumbh Mela
2025 Ardh Kumbh
2016 Ardh Kumbh Mela
2022 Maha Kumbh Mela
Origins of the Kumbh Mela
The Kumbh Mela has been going on for centuries. The festival has its origins in ancient Hindu teachings, which tell of a fight between the gods and the demons. The gods had enlisted the help of the demons to churn the ocean of milk to create the nectar of immortality.
But when the nectar was ready, a fight broke out and the gods and demons waged a 12-day battle in the sky. During this period, which was equivalent to 12 human years, some drops of the nectar fell out of the kumbh or pot and landed in four locations - Prayag (the ancient name of Allahabad before it was renamed by the Mughal emperor Akbar), Ujjain, Nasik and Haridwar. These are the cities that now hold the Kumbh Mela on a rotating schedule. Of these, however, the Allahabad Kumbh Mela is the largest.
The event occurs once every three years in a different city, making a full rotation to each city every 12 years.
The exact dates for the festival are based on astrology and the position of Jupiter and the sun. When Jupiter and the sun are both in Leo, the festival is held in Nashik. When the sun is in Aries, the Kumbh Mela is celebrated in Haridwar. When Jupiter is in Taurus and the sun is in Capricorn, the mela is celebrated in Allahabad, and when the Jupiter and the sun are both in Scorpio, the mela is held in Ujjain, according to Wikipedia.
More Pages by lisa42
- Memories of the Allahabad Kumbh Mela: The Swami
A personal essay about meeting a swami during the Allahabad Kumbh Mela, the world's largest religious pilgrimage that takes place every 12 years in northern India.
- Memories of the Allahabad Kumbh Mela: Encounter with a Naga Sadhu
What do you do when a naked holy man at the world's largest religious festival asks you to eat cow dung ashes? This essay tells what I did when confronted with this problem at the Allahabad Kumbh Mela.