Festival of Dev Diwali

Dev Diwali is celebrated primarily in Varanasi during Kartik Purnima, which falls during the full moon in the month of kartik, generally during November-December. It takes place 14 days after Diwali. The height and glory of the holy month of Kartik is felt most prominently during the festivals at the full moon. The day of full moon of Kartik is known as Kartik Purnima or Dev Diwali, that also commemorates the birth of Kartikeya.

Wreaths and lanterns are floated in rivers in Thailand and one million candles are lit in the Ganges in India. Perhaps the most beautiful festivities in Benares find place annually in the full moon night in November on Dev Diwali, the festival of lights. Along the steps of the eighty-four ghats, burn thousands of candles, with as many floating on the river and the ancient buildings on the banks are adorned with lights.

On this occasion, Varanasi is home to some of the biggest music festivals, dance and Indian shows, with a series of events on the various steps, especially in Dashashwamedh Ghat. Until late into the night fireworks rise into the sky. More than half a million pilgrims flock to this city for this special evening by the holy river to get together to enjoy the magnificent sight.

Kartikeya, Kumara or Skanda is presented as the son of Shiva. His origin is Dravidian, but was revered during the Gupta period in northern India, where he was the patron deity of the Chalukyas. He is especially popular in South India, where he is known as Murugan in Tamil or Subramanya, Shanmukha, Pāvaki, Saravanan, Velan, Sheyyan or Sheyyavan. Murugan is tribal warrior of the mountain hunters, and Korravai, his mother,is the warrior of the jungle and noted for victory in battles.

Kartikeya is often seen in the texts as the only son of Shiva, unlike Ganesha, who is brother or half-brother, as he is the son of Parvati. Ganga is sometimes considered the mother of Karttikeya, who was not very maternal. He was appointed general of the army of Devas led by Surapadman.

The six places Kartikeya stayed while leading his army were Tiruttani Kai, Swamimalai, Tiru Avinankudi (Palani) Pazhamudir Solai, Tirupparamkunram and Tiruchendur. On all these places stand ancient temples, praised by some Tamil poems. He is shown standing or sitting on his vâhana of peacock named Paravani, and is also a symbol of sexual abstinence.

It is also known as Tripuri Purnima or Tripurari Poornima. This day is in fact particularly dear to Radha, the beloved of Krishna as it is believed that with him she used to dance the rasa lila on this day.

On this day the city of blue lotus or lotus pond and the only Indian city to worship Brahma, Pushkar in Rajasthan is the setting for a unique event that lasts ten days and is one of the largest fairs for the camels in the world. Generally, in November, during the full moon of Kartik Purnima, the camels of Thar desert come to occupy huge land on the outskirts of the city, not counting the many tourists and pilgrims who converge on the banks of Pushkar Lake, an important place of pilgrimage.

Pilgrims dip over the holy waters of Pushkar Lake and in the evening and lit thousands of floating candles, creating a very suggestive atmosphere. The fair turns into carnival with entertainment, magic shows and other concerts. The people wear new clothes while racing camels and beauty contests organized to conclude the event.

On this day Jains celebrate their new year and with omniscience of the master awake Tirthankara Mahavira. During Deva Diwali, Mahavira attained liberation.