Hindus consider the waters of the Ganges to be both pure and purifying. The Ganges is a sacred river to Hindus along every fragment of its length. All along its course, Hindus bathe in its waters, paying homage to their ancestors and to their gods by cupping the water in their hands, lifting it and letting it fall back into the river; they offer flowers and rose petals and float shallow clay dishes filled with oil and lit with wicks. They collect and carry small quantities of river water with them for use in rituals. It is believed that a dip in the holy waters of Ganges frees one of all sins and also liberates from the sufferings of birth and death.