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  Home > Varanasi Fairs and Festivals (Buddha Purnima and Dev Deepavali)

Varanasi Fairs and Festivals (Buddha Purnima and Dev Deepavali)



Buddha Purnima
Buddha Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day in April/May whenever the month of Vaisakh falls according to the Hindu calendar.  The festival is celebrated as Buddha’s Birthday. The festival is also known as Buddha Jayanti. Lord Buddha was born in 563 BC in the Vaisakh month on a Full Month day. It is believed that Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment and Moksha (Salvation) on the same Full Moon day. Hence the day is also regarded as the day of his death. Lord Buddha after receiving enlightenment had given his first sermon at Sarnath; it is few km away from Varanasi. It is one of the 4 holy sites of Buddhists. The festival is celebrated with a lot of fan fair at Sarnath.

The festival is celebrated by a large Mela that is held at Sarnath. A parade takes place where Lord Buddha’s relics are taken for public viewing. People pay their respect and homage. Buddhists from across the world are attracted to Sarnath for this festival. The festivities also involve recitation of prayers, recitation of the scriptures, sermons and meditation by the Buddhist monks. Fruits flowers and candles are also offered to commemorate the day.

Dev Deepavali
Dev Deepavali is celebrated on the 15th day after Diwali, on Kartik Purnima. The festival is celebrated as a welcome to the Gods and Goddesses on Earth on the banks of the Holy Ganges.  The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department organizes a four day festival and showcases the heritage and culture of Varanasi. Hindu pilgrims start assembling from the 11th day after Diwali. The crowd increases multi folds by the 15th day. On the eve of Kartik Purnima pilgrims gather around the banks and light lots of diyas. It is a symbolic welcome to the Gods as they descend on Earth. The day is celebrated with offering prayers to the Holy Ganges. The prayers are offered by chanting vedic scriptures, hymns and lighting big Diyas (clay pots). The Ganges looks ablaze with so many diyas lit on its banks. It’s a breathtaking sight as thousands of diyas flicker.


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