Ganga Jayanti was observed on April 26 by Hindus. Several Caribbean mandirs in New York conducted services on the occasion during the evening. Sita Navami will be observed Friday evening April 28 at several mandirs.
Sita Jayanti is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. It is the day when Goddess Ganga was born. Ganga is the holiest river in India. Hindus take bath to cleanse their mind and soul of sins. The Ganga is believed to flow from the jata (hair) of Lord Shiva. It is believed that as Ganga was descending on earth, Lord Shiva took the gushing, turbulent water into his hair so that it would have a relatively gentle fall instead of coming crashing on earth destroying it.
On Ganga Jayanti, people take a bath in Ganga or a holy river or mix Ganges water with other water. Devotees are known to use water from the Ganges for puja. Whenever Caribbean Hindus visit India, they seek blessings from Ganga by taking a bath or immersing their feet and or hands in the river or have holy water sprinkled on them. Caribbean Hindus also worship Ganga Maa ever since their ancestors (girmityas) descended on the shores of the region.
Ganges is very important for Hindus and India in general. The river provides drinking water and is used as a means of transportation and for irrigation purposes, in addition to other uses.