The Dev Deepavali (“the Diwali of the Gods” or “Festival of Lights of the Gods) is festival of hindu.
It is celebrated at the occasison of Kartika Purnima at Varanasi ghats and and takes place fifteen days after Diwali.
On this day the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of Diyas (earthen lamps). 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 feasts.
The tradition of lighting the lamps on the Dev Deepawali festival day was first started at the Panchganga Ghat in 1985.
Why Dev Deepawali Celebrated
The gods are believed to descend to Earth to bathe in the Ganges on this day.
How People Celebrate
During Dev Deepawali, houses are decorated with oil lamps and colored designs on their front doors. Firecrackers are burnt at night, processions of decorated deities are taken out into the streets of Varanasi, and oil lamps are set afloat on the river.
At this occasion, each and every ghats of Gange river are packed with the huge crowd of pilgrims and diyas. They flow thousands of Diyas (also known as earthen lamps) in the holy water of Gange for their Gods according to the ritual beliefs and culture.
What People do on this day (Rituals)
The main rituals performed by devotees on this day consist of kartik snan (taking a holy bath in the Ganges during Kartika) and deepdan (offering of oil lighted lamps) to Ganga in the evening. The Ganga aarti is also performed in the evening.
The festival is a major tourist attraction, and the sight of a million lamps (both floating and fixed) lighting the ghats and river in vivid colors have often been described by visitors and tourists as a breathtaking sight. On the night of the festival, thousands of devotees from the holy city of Varanasi, surrounding villages, and across the country gather in the evening on the ghats of the Ganges to watch the aarti. The local government makes several intensive security arrangements to ensure order during the festival.
Apart from the aarti at the Dashameshwar Ghat, all buildings and houses are lit with earthen lamps. Nearly 100,000 pilgrims visit the riverfront to watch the river aglitter with lamps. The aarti is performed by 21 young Brahmin priests and 24 young women. The rituals involve chanting hymns, rhythmic drum beating, conch shell blowing, and brazier burning.
Boat rides (in boats of all sizes) along the riverfront in the evening are popular among tourists, when all the ghats are lit with lamps and aarti is being performed