Dev Diwali, also known as Dev Deepawali, is a festival celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartik, which is believed to be Diwali of Gods. The festival falls on Kartik Purnima which comes 15 days after Diwali. It is celebrated with great pomp and show in Varanasi. The holy city of Varanasi celebrates the festival by lighting thousands of diyas on the steps on the ghats of river Ganga. The day marks the end of Diwali celebration and is celebrated by lighting diyas. In 2017, it falls on November 3. In Maharashtra, Dev Diwali is celebrated on the first day of Margashirsh month.
Dev Diwali is celebrated to honour the victory of Lord Shiva over three demons – Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha, and Viryavana. Shiva destroyed the three cities built by the demons. Hence it is also known as ‘Tripurotsav’. It is believed that on this day gods descend from heaven to Shiv’s town Kashi on the banks of Ganges to celebrate the festival.
Devotees wake up early and perform ‘Kartik Snan’, a ritual of taking a holy dip in the Ganga river. In the honour of Goddess Ganga ‘Deepdan’, a ritual of performing oil lamps, is performed. 24 Brahmins and 24 chat Vedic mantras and perform ‘Ganga aarti’. In several places, processions of deities followed by cultural programmes are organised. Devotees decorate their houses and prepare colourful rangolis. Over the years, Dev Diwali celebration in Varanasi has become a major tourist attraction and tourists flock the city to witness the ghats being lit with lamps.
Purnima tithi begins: 1:46 pm on November 3
Purnima tithi ends: 10:52 am on November 4