By Ayushi Pandey
There’s nothing surprising about the fact that when we think of Diwali, we all have different stories, yet there is a shared sense of nostalgia for Diwali that we have in common. This year, cities around the country celebrated Diwali in their own different ways but Varanasi, the religious capital of the country, was in a festive mood days after Diwali got over. Like every year, Varanasi celebrated Dev Deepawali on 7th November, two weeks after Diwali with a lot of pomp and show for the whole world to witness and adore.
A grand celebration
The city isn’t just famous for being a holy city, it is also famous for the grandeur with which the festival of lights is celebrated. People from all around the world visit Varanasi, especially during this time to look at the diyas spread all across the ghats as well as the Ganga aarti which is the main highlight of the evening. The atmosphere is filled with the smell of thousands of flowers and it’s just a magical time! The city’s people are emotionally attached to the religious significance of the festival. Thus, the city is lit up with beautiful yellow lights and the temples are decorated with flowers and diyas. People start visiting their friends and family at least a week before with sweets and gifts until the day of Diwali. A day before Diwali, the city is lined with shops that sell the most beautiful decorative items like artificial flowers, earthen pots, rangoli accessories, and more. The ghats are also decorated and prepped for the famous Ganga aarti in the evening.
Dev Deepawali in Varanasi
Since Varanasi is the cultural capital of India, tourists from all around the world also come to Varanasi to be a part of the festival that falls two weeks after Diwali called, Dev Deepavali. On this day, there are beautiful light and sound shows with all the stairs of the ghat filled with millions of diyas. Last year on Prakash Utsav, otherwise known as Dev Deepawali, PM Narendra Modi visited the city to witness the occasion and watch the very beautiful laser show that took place in the evening which was a perfect mix of technology and spirituality. Hundreds and thousands of people took boat rides with friends and family to watch the laser show as they sailed through the shores of Ganga. The occasion also marks the end of the five-day festivity called ‘Ganga Mahotsav’ which is said to be the source of light and positivity for the entire nation. Numerous activities like craft fairs, races, competitions, cultural explorations, and spiritual experiences are held, and then the day is concluded with a bath by tourists and pilgrims, followed by a massive celebration at night. People in the city adore both Diwali and Dev Deepawali just as much and they go out of their way to celebrate the festival with all their hearts and a lot of love!