Photo Story: Women take part in Rishi Panchami in Kathamndu, Nepal

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A group of women take a ritual holy bath to purify themselves to mark the Rishi Panchami festival, at Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal.

During Rishi Panchami, Nepalese women take a ritual bath in holy rivers and worship the ancient Sapta Rishi (seven saints), who devoted their life to the welfare of the society.

However, some women practice this ancient ritual to ask for forgiveness for any errors committed during the end of their menstual cycle. In the Hindu religion, menstruation is viewed as a symbol of impurity and women are not supposed to take part in religious practices and sexual activities during their periods. Thus, it is believed that Rishi Panchami is the occasion to wash off one’s impurity for the whole year.


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