Dev Deepawali, also known as Kartik Poornima or Tripurari Poornima, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated with great fervor in the holy city of Varanasi in India. Falling on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November), Dev Deepawali marks the culmination of a series of festivals starting with Diwali and Chhath Puja. It holds immense spiritual and cultural significance and is believed to be a day when the gods descend to Earth to bathe in the Ganges River.

History and Significance

Dev Deepawali traces its origins back to ancient Hindu mythology. It is believed that on this auspicious day, Lord Shiva defeated the demon Tripurasur and hence the name Tripurari. It is also believed that on this day, the gods come down to Varanasi to celebrate and pay homage to Lord Shiva. Devotees light earthen lamps along the banks of the Ganges to welcome the gods.


The main highlight of Dev Deepawali is the lighting of diyas (earthen lamps) along the banks of the Ganges River and the ghats (steps leading down to the river). Thousands of lamps are lit, illuminating the entire city and creating a mesmerizing sight. Devotees take a holy dip in the Ganges and offer prayers to the river. The air is filled with the sound of bells, chanting of mantras, and devotional songs.

Rituals and Traditions

Devotees wake up early in the morning and take a bath in the Ganges before the break of dawn. They then offer prayers to the rising sun. The day is spent in fasting, visiting temples, and performing rituals to seek the blessings of the gods. In the evening, the ghats come alive with the lighting of lamps and diyas. Devotees offer flowers, incense, and sweets to the gods and seek their blessings for health, wealth, and prosperity.

Dev Deepawali in Varanasi

Varanasi, also known as Kashi, is considered one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and is renowned as the spiritual capital of India. Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is a grand affair with elaborate decorations, cultural performances, and religious ceremonies taking place throughout the city. The ghats of Varanasi, especially Dasaswamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat, are adorned with thousands of lamps, creating a sight to behold.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the significance of Dev Deepawali?
Dev Deepawali is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasur and to honor the gods who descend to Earth on this day.

2. When is Dev Deepawali celebrated?
Dev Deepawali falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik, usually in October or November.

3. How is Dev Deepawali celebrated in Varanasi?
In Varanasi, Dev Deepawali is celebrated with the lighting of thousands of diyas along the ghats of the Ganges, along with prayers, rituals, cultural performances, and processions.

4. Is Dev Deepawali only celebrated in Varanasi?
While Dev Deepawali is most grandly celebrated in Varanasi, it is also observed in other parts of India with devotion and enthusiasm.

5. What are some traditional rituals performed on Dev Deepawali?
Traditional rituals on Dev Deepawali include taking a holy dip in the Ganges, offering prayers to the sun, lighting lamps, offering flowers and sweets to the gods, and seeking their blessings.

6. Can non-Hindus participate in Dev Deepawali celebrations?
Yes, Dev Deepawali is a festival that welcomes people of all faiths to join in the celebrations and witness the cultural and spiritual richness of the festival.

7. Are there any specific foods associated with Dev Deepawali celebrations?
While there are no specific foods associated with Dev Deepawali, people often fast on this day and consume simple vegetarian meals as part of their observance.

8. How can one experience Dev Deepawali in Varanasi as a visitor?
Visitors can witness the grand celebrations of Dev Deepawali in Varanasi by participating in the lighting of lamps at the ghats, attending cultural events, taking boat rides on the Ganges, and exploring the spiritual essence of the city.

9. Are there any special cultural performances during Dev Deepawali in Varanasi?
Yes, cultural performances such as music and dance events, religious discourses, and traditional rituals take place during Dev Deepawali in Varanasi, adding to the festive atmosphere of the city.

10. What should visitors keep in mind while attending Dev Deepawali in Varanasi?
Visitors attending Dev Deepawali in Varanasi should respect local customs and traditions, dress modestly, follow the instructions of authorities, and maintain a spirit of reverence and harmony during the festival.


Dev Deepawali is a festival that symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and is a time for spiritual reflection, devotion, and celebration. The grandeur of Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is a sight to behold and offers a unique opportunity to experience the cultural and religious heritage of India. By participating in the rituals, lighting diyas, and seeking the blessings of the gods, devotees and visitors alike can partake in the joy and sanctity of this auspicious festival.