Dev Diwali or Dev Deepawali is a famous festival celebrated on the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima at the holy city Varanasi. This festival marks the victory of Lord Shiva over demon Tripurasur. Hence Dev Diwali is also known as Tripurotsav.
On the day of Kartik Purnima, devotees take holy dip in River Ganges and light earthen lamps or Diyas in the evening. After sun set, the steps of all Ghats on the riverfront of the Ganges are lit with millions of earthen lamps, which is a wonderful sight to watch. Not only the Ghats of Ganges, but every home and temples of Benares are lit with millions of Diyas.
Rituals of Dev Diwali:
# Dev Diwali’s main ritual is the lighting of the diyas after seeing the moon. The traces of all the Ghats of the Ganga River, from the southern end of Ravidas Ghat to Rajghat, are lit with millions of diyas lit in honor of the goddess Ganga and other devas.
# The devotees arise early in Dev Diwali and perform ‘Kartik snan’, which is a ritual of bathing in the holy Ganges. They perform “deepdan” (offering oil lamps) in honor of the Goddess Ganga. After this “Ganga Aarti” is performed by 24 Brahman priests with 24 girls, with total dedication.
# At Dev Diwali, people decorate their homes with oil lamps. Colored or rangoli designs are made on the front doors. In several houses in Varanasi, ‘Akhand Ramayana’ is organized with offering bhogs.
# At night, in the streets of Varanasi, great processions of beautifully decorated deities are drawn with enthusiasm. The night sky is lit with the lights of the firecrackers. After the event, there will also be dance performances and cultural programs of famous personalities of Varanasi