Dev Deepawali in Varanasi- A Unique Festival of Lights
Dev Deepawali is a festival of lights celebrated after Diwali. Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is a spectacular fest to witness.
Many of us are unfamiliar with the term ‘Dev Deepawali’. Who doesn’t know about the festival of lights that is celebrated all over India, called Diwali? But have you heard about a festival that succeeds Diwali every year, celebrated in Varanasi, Dev Deepawali?
It is also a festival of lights, but it is lesser-known since it is only celebrated in this city after Diwali. The religious and cultural fest is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in Varanasi, let us find out why.
The Beginning of Dev Deepawali
Dev Deepawali can be translated as the ‘Festival of Light of Gods’ because ‘Dev’ means Gods and ‘Deepawali’ means the festival of lights. The ritual started a few decades ago when the people started celebrating the descent of the gods.
Hindus believe that 15 days after Diwali, the Gods descend from Heaven and to Varanasi to bathe in the Ganges. People firmly believe that the gods take a bath in the holy river for purification and devotion. And since these gods are beloved deities, they get worshipped by the people during this time.
Hence people started worshipping the event and paying their respect and prayers to the Gods that are believed to descend to earth. In the modern-day setting, this festival is still celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Why Dev Deepawali Is Important to People
For the people and culture of Varanasi, the festival is more than just a religious fest, it is also a cultural celebration. It is a day that the public comes together in unity to show their gratitude to the gods and enjoy themselves.
During this festival, people sing songs, pray to the lords, eat local cuisines, and overall interact with one another. It might not be a popularly known festival all over, but in Varanasi, the festival is of the utmost importance. People with varying purposes and backgrounds gather together and celebrate this festival hand in hand with each other.
Its religious and cultural aspects aside, this festival in Varanasi is also a time when people pay their respects to the martyrs of the Indian Armed Forces. So it is an emotional event for all people, even those who might not attend it for religious importance.
How Do People Celebrate Dev Deepawali?
The celebrations during the festival of Dev Deepawali include various religious and cultural affairs. These celebrations take place over multiple ghats all across the city, so the celebrations may vary with the place you are at.
Apart from this, they also take bath in the Ganges during the day. In general, all of the people illuminate the ghats with diyas and lights to pray and you can see these decorations all along the bank of the Ganges. In the evening/night, the people also do ‘deepdan’, where they float lighted oil lamps in the river.
The whole scene is such a lovely thing to witness not only for tourists but also for the people of Varanasi. The lamps in the banks and the river seem like millions of little lights that glimmer in the night sky. You must also enjoy the delicious season dishes like Malaiyo which you can find near this time as well.
Where Can You Be a Part of Dev Deepawali?
If you wish to attend the festivities in the city during Dev Deepawali, there are a few locations you could do that from. Since Dev Deepawali is celebrated in all of the ghats spread across the Ganges, there is more than one location for the celebrations.
And if you are a tourist who is visiting in time for Dev Deepawali, you need to know the ropes. Depending on which aspect of the festival seems more interesting to you, you can visit various places and celebrate the fest from there.
Here are three best places that you can witness Dev Deepawali from:
- Dashashwamedh Ghat- The Dashashwamedh Ghat is probably the best location if you wish to witness the festivities. The main aarti for the gods takes place at this ghat and most people gather here to pray as well. The ghat also has a wide range of music performances and food to choose from, so it is an all-rounder in terms of activities. You can get the most stunning pictures and some lovely sceneries, but make sure to reach the venue early to secure a spot.
- Other Ghats- All other ghats except for Dashashwamedh Ghat have similar festivities, just not as grand. But you can still see prayers, music, food, and the lights from any other ghat on the bank of the river Ganges in Varanasi. The best part about other ghats is that you can find more peace and there won’t be as many people in other ghats as there will be in the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
- Boats- Another beautiful place you can be in to witness the festivities is on a boat that you can board on various ghats. The boat will let you float amid the floating lamps in the river. Arguably, this is one of the best views you can get since you can see the ghats illuminated all in front of you while you relax in the middle of the river.
Exclusively celebrated in Varanasi, Dev Deepawali is a festival that is a must-visit if you are around Varanasi when it takes place. The festival has a religious background and much cultural importance which makes it so precious to the people of Varanasi.
During the festival, you can explore various ghats are decorated with oil lamps and lights, or simply enjoy the delicious cuisine the street vendors have to offer. Regardless of your purpose, Dev Deepawali is a festival that charms all with its festivities.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is Dev Deepawali celebrated every year?
Dev Deepawali is a festival that is celebrated every year 15 days after Diwali, on the Kartik Purnima.
Is Diwali different from Dev Deepawali?
Yes, both Diwali and Dev Deepawali are different festivals that are celebrated 15 days apart and have different purposes.
Is Dev Deepawali ideal for tourists?
Yes, Dev Deepawali is a bright festival that is quite interesting for tourists to witness as it is the perfect representation of the cultural heritage of Varanasi.