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Dev Deepawali

Dev Deepawali Varanasi

Introduction
Dev Diwali or Dev Deepawali is a Hindu festival held in the Hindu month of ‘Kartik’, celebrated with great pomp and show in the Indian state of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh. Dev Deepawali is the ‘Festival of Lights of the Gods’ and falls on the Kartik ‘Purnima’ (full moon day), fifteen days after the celebrations of Diwali. It corresponds to the month of November-December in the Gregorian calendar. 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. It is believed that the Gods descend to Varanasi on this auspicious occasion to take a dip in the River Ganga. This is what makes this festival so popular. Tourists from all over the country flock to Varanasi during this auspicious festival.

The Ganga Aarti you will see on the evening of Dev Deepawali is the most elaborate Ganga Aarti that is performed during the whole year. 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. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of Varanasi. With its message of faith and culture, the festival features popular cultural programs, classical music, a country boat race, a daily shilp mela, sculpture displays, and martial arts. On the final day which coincides with the traditional Dev Deepawali (light festival of the Gods), the ghats on the Ganga River glitter with more than a million lit-up earthen lamps. Ganga Mahotsav, begins on Prabodhini Ekadashi and goes on for five days. Life and culture in and around Varanasi is believed to be blessed by the Holy River Ganga. Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated as a token of thankfulness of the people towards the bountiful river. Ganga Mahotsav is typically held at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, but has recently been shifted to the Ravidas Ghat. At the occasion of Dev Diwali, all the ghats of River Ganga is lighted with thousands of diyas and crowded with devotees. This utsav is celebrated every year in the holy city of Varanasi. The festivities can also be witnessed in Gujarat and other northern states of India. Dev Diwali is commemorated to honor the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon named 'Tripurasur'. For this reason, this festival is also known as 'Tripurotsav'. The festival of Dev Diwali coincides with Guru Nanak Jayanti and Jain light festival.

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