Dev Diwali, also known as Kartik Purnima, is a significant and grandly celebrated festival in the holy city of Varanasi, India. It falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik (usually in November). Dev Diwali, which translates to “the Diwali of the Gods,” is a unique and spiritually significant festival that holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Varanasi.
Here are some key aspects and significance of Dev Diwali in Varanasi:
- The Festival of Lamps: Dev Diwali is celebrated by lighting thousands of lamps and diyas along the ghats (riverbanks) of the River Ganges. The ghats, especially the Dashashwamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, and Manikarnika Ghat, come alive with the warm glow of these lamps. This mesmerizing sight is believed to symbolize the Gods’ descent to bathe in the holy river.
- Rituals and Traditions: The day begins with devotees taking a holy dip in the Ganges River during the early hours of the morning. Many people perform special pujas (rituals) and offer prayers to seek blessings. The day is marked by various religious ceremonies and cultural events.
- The Arrival of Gods: According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that on Dev Diwali, the Gods descend to Varanasi to take a dip in the holy river Ganges. Devotees believe that the Gods bless the city and its people during this auspicious occasion.
- A Spiritual and Cultural Extravaganza: Dev Diwali in Varanasi is not just a religious festival; it’s also a grand cultural event. The evening is filled with cultural performances, music, dance, and religious processions. The ghats become a stage for various artists, and the atmosphere is filled with spiritual fervor and celebration.
- The Spectacular Ganga Aarti: The highlight of Dev Diwali in Varanasi is the grand Ganga Aarti performed on the ghats. This Aarti is a magnificent spectacle where priests offer prayers to the River Ganges, and the entire ghat is lit up with lamps. The Aarti is attended by thousands of devotees and tourists and is a sight to behold.
- Spiritual Cleansing: Dev Diwali is considered a time for spiritual cleansing and seeking blessings for a better life and spiritual growth. It is a time for introspection, prayer, and devotion.
Dev Diwali in Varanasi is a beautiful blend of spirituality, culture, and devotion. The city comes alive with the radiant glow of lamps, the soothing sound of chants and hymns, and the vibrancy of its people. It is a festival that reflects the rich cultural and religious heritage of Varanasi and is a must-visit for anyone seeking a deeply spiritual and culturally enriching experience in India.