The Mahamaham Festival is a bathing ceremony by which all sins and evils doings are washed away. By bathing in the MahamahamTank one can be purified. It is believed that holy rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna meet in the waters of the tank once in 12 years.
People from all parts of the country visit Kumbakonam during the Mahamaham Festival. Since it is celebrated once in 12 years, the crowd that gathers to take a dip in the waters of the tank is more than 40 lacs.
The ten day celebration during the MahamahamFestival is commenced with the hoisting of a flag in the Vaishnavite Temple and other temples in Kumbakonam.
Time to celebrate
Mahamaham Festival usually takes place when the Moon is in juxtaposition with the constellation, Maham. This happens in the Tamil month of Masi which according to the Gregorian calendar is either in the second half of February of in the first half of March. Mahamaham Festival is celebrated once in 12 years as the astronomical placement occurs then.