The Dev Deepavali (“Diwali of the Gods” or “Festival of Lights of the Gods”) is the festival of Kartik Poornima (the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika i.e; the month of November – December and takes place fifteen days after Diwali) celebrated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
It start by holy Vedic mantras chanted by priests to please and welcome the God, sparkling fire crackers and million earthen lamps Diyas at the ghats on the riverfront of the Ganges River right from Ravidas Ghat at the southern end to Rajghat which includes Assi Ghat, Suparshvanath Ghat, Boondiper Kota Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Ahilya Bai Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat.
Almost all ghats are full of crowd and delight. A 12-ft statue of the Goddess Ganga becomes the center of the attraction at this day. People travel in the boat from here to there to have immense pleasure of this occasion. On this great instance devotees and pilgrims take a holy dip early in the morning in the sacred water of Gange known as the Kartik Snan. Many houses at Varanasi organize Akhand Ramayan with the allocation of bhogs.
Ganga Mahotsav is also held at Dasaswamedh Ghat around this occasion where a huge number of Hindu devotees start to come from the Prabodhini Ekadasi which is the eleventh day of the fortnight. The entire ghats of the Ganga from Varuna to Asi gets decorated with the tiny earthen lamps (known as Diya) and floral rangolis at the evening of Kartik Purnima and people starts gathering by the riverside before sunset to see the beauty. It is considered that pilgrims flow Diyas in water of Gange to welcoming the Gods who descend on the earth. This whole event makes a wonderful scene to watch. Gange arti also held on each Gange ghat with a huge lamps and done by priests of ghats.
Ganga Mahotsav is a tourist-centric festival in Varanasi, which is celebrated over five days every year, starting from Prabodhani Ekadashi to Kartik Poornima during the months of October and November. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of Varanasi. With its message of faith and culture, the festival features popular cultural programs, classical music, a country boat race, a daily shilp mela (arts and crafts fair), sculpture displays, and martial arts. On the final day (Poornima), which coincides with the traditional Dev Deepawali (light festival of the Gods), the ghats on the Ganga River glitter with more than a million lit-up earthen lamps.
Dev Diwali 2016 will be celebrated on Monday, at 14th November 2016.