Following the Hindu Lunar calendar, Dev Diwali is observed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Kartik and is celebrated for fifteen days after the festival of Diwali. Hence, Dev Diwali is considered to be the `Festival of Lights of the Gods’.
According to the Gregorian calendar, the festival falls in the months of November-December. Dev Diwali 2019 will be celebrated on 12th November.
The festival also coincides with Guru Nanak Jayanti and Jain light festival.
The festival of Dev Diwali is celebrated in a grand manner in the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Varanasi.
Significance of Dev Diwali
Devotees celebrate the power of Lord Shiva during the festival of Kartik Purnima. According to the legend, it is believed that Lord Shiva killed the Demon Tripusara on this day. This is why the festival is also known as Tripuri Poornima or Tripurari Poornima.
Devotees believed that on the day of Dev Diwali, the Gods and Goddesses descend on Earth to take a bath in the River Ganga. All the ghats of the River Ganga are lighted with thousands of earthen diyas and crowded with pilgrims.
Besides the religious significance, the festival also commemorates the brave martyrs who lost their lives fighting for the country. Bhajans and patriotic songs, along with wreaths, are offered as a remembrance for our brave soldiers. The `Bhartiya Shourya Samman’ awards are also given.
Rituals and Traditions
Priests begin the religious festival of Dev Diwali by chanting the holy Vedic mantras, lighting diyas at the ghats and a sparkling display of firecrackers to welcome and please the Gods and Goddesses.
The main ritual performed by devotees is the Kartik snan, in which devotees and pilgrims take holy dip early in the morning in the sacred water of the River Ganges.
A 5-day grand celebration of Ganga Mahotsav, starting from Prabodhani Ekadashi to Kartik Poornima is also observed by devotees. The festivities of Ganga Mahotsav is also held at Dasaswamedh Ghat (the famous Ganges ghat in Varanasi), where a huge number of Hindu devotees visit during this period.
All the ghats of Ganga, from Varuna to Assi, are decorated with diyas and floral colourful rangolis on the eve of Kartik Poornima.
21 Brahmin priests along with 24 girls perform the Ganga aarti in the evening on each ghat of the Ganges, with a lot of devotion.
A traditional ritual still practised today include devotees offering thousands of Diyas (earthen lamps) to the Gods and Goddesses and floating them in the holy water of the Ganges.
Devotees even decorate their houses with diyas and colourful designs of rangoli are made on the front doors to celebrate the festival. Families offer bhogs and food to others.
In Rajasthan, the world-renowned Pushkar fair is organised on this day! Worshippers show their devotion by performing the rituals and taking a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake.