A Look at Biggest Gatherings Ahead of Pope's Manila Mass

January 17, 2015 5:47 AM

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Once every 12 years in northern India, tens of millions of Hindus gather in the city of Allahabad for what is thought to be the largest religious meeting in the world— the Maha Kumbh Mela, or Big Pitcher Festival.

The 55-day gathering is held at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythic Saraswati rivers, and celebrates the victory of gods over demons in a battle for nectar that would grant them immortality. As one of the gods fled with a pitcher of the nectar, a drop is said to have spilled on the s...

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