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Madhav Narayan is a festival that includes one of the most difficult rituals practiced by Hindus in Nepal. Devotees undertake a month-long fast, walk barefoot in the cold winter mornings, and take a chilly, holy bath in the Hanuman River by the early light of day.
Around me, women loosen their hair and prepare their offerings before entering the freezing water. They disregard the trash that floats up around them and rinse their entire body, including their mouths in polluted water. Many light candles at the water's edge and chants fill the air.
You can read more about my experience at Madhav Narayan on my blog:
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