Dev Deepavali or Dev Dipawali also known as Dev Diwali is one of the most widely held festivals of Hindu Religion which is celebrated in Benaras on the occasion of Kartika Purnima. It gets started by the holy Vedic mantras (chanted by priests to please and welcome the Gods and Goddess Ganges), sparkling fire crackers and lighting a bunch of Diyas at the ghats.
On this occasion, each and every ghat of River Ganges are packed with the huge crowd of pilgrims and decorated with varieties of diyas making viewers’ visit most memorable. People flow thousands of Diyas (earthen lamps) in the holy water of Ganges dedicating to their Gods according to the ritual beliefs and culture.
Dev Diwali 2017 Dev Diwali 2017 would be celebrated by the people on Friday, 3rd of November.
History and Legend of Dev Deepavali :
Dev Deepavali is celebrated every year in Varanasi City on the 15th day of Diwali in respect of River Ganges, the Mother Ganges of Indians by the pilgrims. It is held in the month of Kartikaat Kartika Purnima or Full Moon of Kartika Month of Hindu calendar. It is celebrated and observed by the people with the great trumpet blast and overwhelms. In Hindu religion, Dev Deepavali is celebrated in the belief that Gods descend on the Earth on this grand occasion. There is another myth of celebrating Dev Deepavali that, at this day, demon Tripurasur was killed by the Gods, so it is named as Dev Deepavali and celebrated as a victory day of the Gods on the Kartika Purnima.
How it starts and where it is held :
This programme starts with the worship of Lord Ganesha, the auspicious god of Hindu Religion by presenting Ganapati Vandana, followed by laying garlands of flowers. Rituals of Dev Deepavali are presented by 21 Brahmins and 41 girls sounding the Vedic mantras. After Deep-Daan, a Maha Aarati is held on Dasaswamedh Ghat which has become the main attraction of the day.
Nritya Ganga Programme :
After all the cultural programmes, a dance performance (by great personalities of Varanasi) is held under the event “Nritya Ganga.” Famous musicians of country participate in this cultural programme. Many Bharat natyam, Kathak, Odissi dancers of Varanasi as well as of India participate in Nritya Ganga making it richer and vivid besides Folk Dances and drama are also performed by folk artistes. There you can enjoy deep dan and watch programmes organized by Nritya Ganga on the occasion.
Almost all the ghats such as Assi Ghat, Suparshvanath Ghat, Boondiper Kota Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Ahilya Bai Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, etc. become full of crowd and delight. A 12-feet statue of the Goddess Ganga becomes the center of attraction on this day. People travel in boats from place to place to have immense pleasure of this occasion. On this great occasion, devotees and pilgrims take a holy dip early in the morning in the sacred water of Ganges known as the Kartika Snan. Many houses at Varanasi organize Akhand Ramayana, unbreakable Ramayana chanting with the allocation of bhog.
Decoration of Ghats :
Ganga Mahotsav is also held at Dasaswamedh Ghat (the famous Ganges ghat in Varanasi) around this occasion where a huge number of Hindu devotees start to pour from the day of Prabodhini Ekadasi (eleventh day of fortnight). The entire ghats of the Ganga from Varuna to Assi get decorated with the tiny earthen lamps (known as Diya) and floral Rangolis, a traditional art form of decoration of floor with flowers and colours in the evening of Kartika Purnima. People start gathering by the riverside before sunset to see the beauty of decoration. It is considered that pilgrims flow Diyas in water of Ganges to welcome the Gods who descend on the earth. This whole event makes a wonderful scene to watch. Ganges Aarti is also performed on each Ganges ghat with a huge lamp and by priests of ghats.
Role of the Ganga Seva Nidhi :
On this occasion, the Ganga Seva Nidhi manages a program to pay respect to the martyrs in which they put down floral garlands at the Amar Jawan Jyoti on Dashashwamedh Ghat. Dev Deepawali draws attention of millions of devotees and pilgrims every year. Because of the huge gathering at the ghats, enough security arrangement is made by the government of Uttar Pradesh, state of India for safety of pilgrims and tourists.