Ganges River – Festival of Life

Yesterday we arrived into Varanasi India. This is a very sacred city to the Hindu religion and a place where people go to die. This city is located on the Ganges river. The Hindu believe that you have multiple lives and that when you die you need to be cremated and then your ashes deposited in water. The Ganges river is considered a sacred river and so there are many crematories located along the river. They are open and typically the body is transported to the river edge, put on wood and burned. We are able to watch this from a distance on the river. This tradition has been going on for thousands of years. In addition, a Festival of Life is done at sundown every day by men training to be priests. Thousands of people (most are Indians) are in boats and on the shore watching this holy festival, celebrating life.

Here is the Cremation Ceremony by the edge of the Ganges River.

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Here is Celebration of Life Festival

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