Dev Deepawali

Dev Deepawali

When - 23 November

Where - All Over India

The Dev Deepavali ("the Diwali of the Gods" or "Festival of Lights of the Gods") is the festival of Kartik Poornima celebrated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. It falls on the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika (November - December) and takes place fifteen days after Diwali. 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. The gods are believed to descend to Earth to bathe in the Ganges on this day. The festival is also observed as Tripura Purnima Snan. The tradition of lighting the lamps on the Dev Deepawali festival day was first started at the Panchganga Ghat in 1985.

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.

The main rituals performed by devotees 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.

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