Kashi Vishvanath Temple is the holy place for Hindus. The temple is in Varanasi and is situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga. In history this temple has been destroyed and re-constructed numerous times. Lastly, Aurangzeb demolished the structure and constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque. The present structure was built by the Maratha monarch, Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780 on an adjacent site.
Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival mostly celebrated on 14th of January every year. This festival is celebrated all over India but in some part it is celebrated as Pongal and in some part as Lohri. Makar sankranti is the festival of kites. In Gujarat Makar Sankranti is well known as Uttarayan. People of Gujarat keenly await this festival to pay oblation to the Sun by flying colourful kites all over the skyline. Makar Sankranti commemorates the beginning of the harvest season. Astrologically, on this day the Sun enters the Capricorn constellation. In Hindu religion Sun is regarded as Pratyaksha-Brahman-the manifest God who symbolizes, the one, non-dual, self-effulgent, glorious divinity blessing one and all tirelessly. This festival gives a message that one should gradually begin to nurture transparency, knowledge, and awareness, as the Sun does from this day and perform his duties without execrating any return. On this very day, a wounded Bhishma Pitamah chose to linger and leave his body, so that he can attain heavenly abode.
On this day sun ends its southward journey at the Tropic of Capricorn, and starts moving northward towards the Tropic of Cancer. Relating to the mythology, God remind their children to wake up and to move towards lights and never to darkness-’Tamso Ma Jyotir Gamaya’ .
Mahashivratri has a spiritual significance and is celebrated on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar. On this very day Shiva was married to the goddess Parvati. Shiva followers celebrate this festival with great pomp. This festival is observed for one day and one night. On Shivratri night the Tandava Nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction art performed.
The month of Shravan is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar beginning from Chaitra, and is the most auspicious month for the Hindus. The whole month is dedicated to Shiva. Each Monday of this month is a special day in temples. On the first Monday of this month the idol of lord Shiva is decorated, on second Monday idol of lord Bhagwa Shankar and Mother Parvati are decorated, on third Monday idol of Shri Ardhyanarishwar is decorated and on the last Monday idol of Shri Rudrakshay is decorated. The whole month has a great importance. On this very occasion people use to take bath in the holy river and also fair are organized in Jharkhand at very large scale
Dev Deepawali is famous all over India for its holiness. This festival is celebrated on the occasion of Kartik Poornima in Varanasi. Dev Deepawali is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali in the respect of Ganga. This festival is celebrated on the belief that the God descend on the Earth on this instance. Number of devotees from different zones use to come there. The entire ghats of the Ganga, from Ravidas Ghat at the Southern end to Rajghat get decorated with the tiny earthen lamps and floral rangolis at the evening of Kartik Purnima. And this tradition of lighting was first started at the panchganga ghat in 1985. It is considered that pilgrims flow Diyas in water of Gange to welcome the God. Ganga aarti occurs on each Ganga ghat with huge lamps by number of priests. Processions of deities are taken out and firecrackers are burnt at night. This whole event makes a wonderful scene to watch. And that is the reason why Dev Deepavali draws attention of millions of devotees all over India.
Annakut is celebrated fourth day of Deepawali. On this very day Krishna defeated Indra by lifting Govardhan hill and thus protected the cowherd clan of Vrindavan. People celebrate this puja by making food of cereals such as wheat, rice, curry of gram flour and leafy vegetables in order to offer to Lord Krishna. Specially, residents of Govardhan enjoy this festival with great pomp and show.
Rangbhari (Aamlaki) Ekadashi
Rangbhari Ekadashi is of great importance at Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Rangbhari Ekadashi marks the beginning of Holi celebration in Kashi. Rangbhari Ekadashi is also known as Amalakii Ekadashi. Amalakii is offspring of Lord Brahma and the form of Brahman who can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions. Once lord Ramchandra worshipped Amalakii.
Akshya tritiya is a holy day for Hindus. This day is the birthday of Lord Parsurama. On this day Veda Vyas and Lord Ganesha began to write Mahabharata. This day is symbolized by god Vishnu. Goddess Annapoorna devi was also born in Akshya tritiya. This tithi falls on the third lunar day of Bright Half of the pan-indian month of Vaishakha. This day is one of the four most important days for Hindus.
Holi is one of the major and vibrant festival among Hindu and also some other religion. Holi has become popular with the people of other communities also. Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun. Holi marks the arrival of spring season. Also this festival signifies the victory of good over evil, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationship. Holi is the day of full enjoyment. People of all age groups armed with colour play drums and music, move from one locality to another to colour their targets.
Diwali is the biggest and brightest Hindu festival celebrated in autumn season. On the occasion of Diwali people use to clean their homes and decorate them for the festivities. In Hinduism Diwali has a religious significance, as Diwali is celebrated in the honour of the return of god Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana from exile of 14 years. The festival is the victory of light over darkness. The illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity.
Panch Koshi Parikrama in Varanasi
Panch Koshi Parikrama is the most significant festival for women in India. It is said that Panch Koshi Parikrama completes only if someone visits all 5 sites decided by Religious Priests of Hindu Religion. These 5 places are Kardmeshwar, Shivpur, Rameshwar, Bhimchandi and Kapildhara.
Bharat Milap in Varanasi
Varanasi is the city of festivals as it is also the city with great cultural traditions. Fairs and festivals are inseparable part of city dwellers as well as of Indians.
Buddha Mahotsav at Sarnath Varanasi
Lord Buddha was born on the Full Moon Day in the month of Vaisakh, years ago in 563 BC. Buddha Mahotsav is held every year at Sarnath in Varanasi to celebrate the birthday of Lord Buddha. Buddha Purnima is also known as Buddha Jayanti and celebrated by the people with the huge traditional and religious passion. Buddha Purnima is held in the Hindu Month of Vaisakh (means April or May).
Chhath Pooja in Varanasi
Chhat is the only festival with sound history where you can find evidence of worship of setting Sun.
Chhath is a Hindu festival celebrated each year by the people very eagerly. This is very unique festival of the Hindu Religion dedicated to The Sun, God of energy, also known as Dala Chhath or Surya Shashti. People celebrate this festival to offer thanks to the Lord Surya for blessing the life on the earth forever. People worship the God Sun very enthusiastically and pray for the well-being, success and progress of their family members, friends, and elders. According to the Hinduism, Sun worship is related to the cure of a range of diseases such as leprosy, etc.
Nag Nathaiya in Varanasi
Legend of the Nag Nathaiya :
Nag Nathaiya festival was first started in the 16th century by the great saint TulsiDasa on the banks of River Ganges, now known as Tulsi Ghat in the Benaras. Once upon a time, Lord Krishna and his friends were playing on the bank of the River Yamuna in Gokul. Suddenly they lost their ball in the river. Children of Gokul asked every passer-by about whereabouts of ball but were clueless. Then they guessed that their ball might have fallen in River. Then Lord Krishna jumped into the river to search for the ball. In the river he was confronted with the noxious snake King Cobra, known as the Kaliya Nag. Those days, villagers of Gokul were much afraid of Kaliya for long time. The conflict went long between the Kaliya Nag and Lord Krishna.
Nakkatayya in Varanasi
Nakkatayya festival is celebrated at Chetganj in Varanasi. It is an event of the Ramayana Era or Epic Period of Indian History. It is celebrated to commemorate the nicking the nose of Supernakha (sister of Ravana, the Devil King) by the Lakshman (younger brother of the Lord Rama). It is considered that Supernkha was very beautiful lady and she was trying to attract both, the Lord Rama and Lakshman to marry her. That’s why she tried to entice them by taking a new look. Lakshman got angry and he slit the nose of Supernakha. She went crying loudly to her elder brother Ravana. A Drama form has evolved in Varanasi as Nakkatayya which is performed by the folk artistes or common folk in Varanasi to replay this great episode in front of the people to rememorize the past event.
Rama Leela in Varanasi
Rama Leela is a dramatic presentation of the events of life of Lord Rama, the protagonist of Ramayana, the epic which starts from the history of Rama of young age and ends up with the battle for 10 days between the Lord Rama and Ravana. Rama Leela is an old religious and cultural tradition that is played on stage every year for 10 successive nights. A big fair is held at the end of dramaa on 10th day or Dussehra so that everyone might enjoy fair. Carnivals are a place for petty sellers and merchants to sell their goods, a place for general public to enjoy and inter-mingle, a place for state and municipality to earn revenue.
Ganga Dussehra in Varanasi
Ganga Dussehra is a major Hindu Festival and is equally important for Muslim as it is celebrated to revere River Ganges that is a divine source of water for whole northern India. Ganga Dussehra is celebrated with full enthusiasm and ritualistic accomplishments by all in India.