Thousands of Hindus take holy dip in India, defying COVID surge

A Hindu devotee takes a ritualistic bath

Hundreds of thousands of Hindu worshippers have gathered on the banks of India’s Ganges river for a holy dip despite a 30-fold rise in coronavirus cases in the past month.

Hindus believe a bath in the frigid waters of the holy river during the Makar Sankranti festival, observed every year on January 14, washes away sins and frees them from the cycle of death and rebirth.

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