Dev Deepavali in Varanasi

Location

Celebrated at most of the Ghats but official celebration is held at Dashashwamedha Ghat.

When: Kartik Purnima in the month of October or November or December.

Highlights

Dev Deepavali is celebrated on the day of Kartik Poornima when the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of Diyas (earthen lamps) lit on the Ghats and floated in River Ganga by devotees. Dev Deepavali is celebrated on fifteenth day of Diwali and it is a tribute to River Ganga by the people of Varanasi along with devotees coming from all over. Dev Deepavali is held on the full moon day in the month of Kartik (also known as Kartik Purnima) and is observed with great fanfare and enjoyments. It is believed that on the day of Dev Deepavali, the Gods descend on Earth. Kartik Purnima festival also coincides with the Jain festival of light and Guru Nanak Jayanti. To commemorate the occasion and also to showcase the cultural heritage of Varanasi, the Uttar Pradesh Tourism department organizes a four-day Ganga Mahotsav prior to Dev Deepavali. Large number of Hindu devotees assemble for the occasion and indulge themselves in the celebration. Reputed artists and performers from all over the country come and perform to make the celebrations more eventful. Lot of pilgrims coming to get blessed on the eve of Dev Deepavali camp by the riverside and in the evening decorate the entire riverbank with tiny earthen lamps ('Diya') along with local people. These lamps are lit as a mark of welcome to the Gods as it is believed that Gods descend on earth on the eve of Dev Deepavali. The little sparks of fire flicker elegantly and is a wonderful sight to watch. The 'Ganga-Aarti' is an important event in the evening. Almost all Ghats organize their own ceremony. Huge lamps are set ablaze and the priest hold the lamp as the hymns are chanted.