According to legend, during the vedic times, the Devtas (The Gods) and the Asuras (the Demons) were churning the ocean to find Amrit or the exilir of immortality, once they were able to find the Kumbh or pot, it was taken away by Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. While taking it away, a drop or two of the Amrit fell in the River Ganga, which is why it is believed that taking a dip in this river can rid your soul of any sins and you can attain moksha or free the sould from the cycle of reincarnation.
Hindus believe that by undertaking the Paush Purnima Snan, they can rid themselves of their sins and achieve fulfilment of their wishes.
In some parts of India, Paush Purnima is also known as Shakambari Purnima. This year, Paush Purnima will fall on 28th January 2021, which falls on a Thursday.
During this time, devotees can be seen in large hoards at Haridwar Ghats or at Triveni Samgam at Prayagraj. After taking a holy dip, devotees visit nearby temples of Lord Shiva and chant prayers. Reading of the Bhagvad Gita, and Ramayan is also observed.
Paush Purnima is also a day where charity is performed and donations are given, free meals are served to the needy, and devotees donate, grains, money, vegetables, etc.
Paush Purnima is also a marker of Kalpwas or the period of self-discipline, which is done throughout the month of Magh. Despite the cold weather in January, thousands of devotees gather at river banks to set up tents and perform their daily rituals and show their devotion to the Gods