Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is a festival celebrated every year on the occasion of Kartik Poornima. This happens to be 15 days after Diwali.
Dev Deepawali is the ‘Festival of Lights of the Gods’ and falls on the Kartik ‘Purnima’ (full moon day).
This religious ceremony is started by chanting of the holy Vedic mantras by the priests, lighting diyas at the ghats and the sparkling of fire crackers, to welcome and please the Gods and Goddesses.
At the occasion of Dev Diwali, all the ghats of River Ganga is lighted with thousands of diyas and crowded with pilgrims. This utsav is celebrated every year in the holy city of Varanasi.
In the Indian state of Maharashtra, Dev Diwali is observed on the first day of the month of ‘Margashirsh’. Dev Diwali is commemorated to honour the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon named ‘Tripurasur’.
As the name implies, Dev Diwali is the Deepawali of the Gods or Devas.
It ends the celebrations of Diwali as on this day the Tulsi Vivah Ritual also comes to an end.
It is believed that on the day of Dev Diwali, the Gods and Goddesses descend to Earth to take bath in Ganga.
This unique tradition of lighting diyas on the day of Dev Diwali was initiated at the Panchganga Ghat in the year 1985. The small town of Varanasi, turns into one of the biggest tourist attractions on the occasion of Dev Diwali.
Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country and abroad, come to witness this breathtaking sight.
Dev Diwali will be celeberated on Friday, 3rd of November 2017.
Dev Diwali Celeberation in Varanasi :
The steps of all the ghats on the riverfront of the Ganges River, from Ravidas Ghat at the southern end to Rajghat, are lit with more than a million earthen lamps (diyas) in honour of Ganga, the Ganges, and its presiding goddess.
Rituals of Dev Diwali:
- The main ritual of Dev Diwali is the lighting of diyas after seeing the moon. The steps of every ghats of River Ganga, right from southernmost Ravidas Ghat to Rajghat, are illuminated with millions of diyas lit in honour of Goddess Ganga and other presiding devas.
- The devotees get up early on the day of Dev Diwali and perform the ‘Kartik snan’, that is a ritual of taking a dip in the holy Ganges). They perform ‘deepdan’ (offering oil lamps) in the honour of Goddess Ganga. Following this ‘Ganga aarti’ is performed by 24 Brahmin Priests along with 24 girls, with full devotion.
- On this occasion of Dev Diwali, people decorate their houses with oil lamps. Colourful designs or rangoli are made on the front doors. In several houses in Varanasi, ‘Akhand Ramayana’ is organized along with offering bhogs.
- In the evening, on the streets of Varanasi, huge processions of beautifully decorated deities are taken out with full enthusiasm. The night sky is lit up with the lights of the firecrackers. After the event, dance performances and cultural programmes by famous personalities of Varanasi also takes place.