Dev Deepawali or Dev Diwali, also known as the "Diwali of Gods" is celebrated on Kartik Purnima. Devotees take dip in holy rivers, light lamps and pray to the Gods. This year, Dev Diwali is coinciding with Guru Nanak Jayanti, the birth anniversary of first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism. It is also known as Tripuri Purnima. It is believed that Gods descend the Earth on this luminous Dev Deepawali to take a bath in river Ganga. Kartik Purnima or the night of the full moon of Kartik month of the Hindu calendar falls 15 days after Diwali, the night of Kartik Amavasya.
A large number of devotees took a holy dip in river Sarayu on Dev Deepawali or Kartik Purnima amid tight security in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya. The chants of "Sita Ram" started playing on the streets and the ghats early morning today as devotees took a holy dip in the river.
The number, however, was less this year after the Supreme Court judgement of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri masjid land dispute verdict, many devotees told news agency PTI.
Devotees also gathered in Patna to take a holy dip in river Ganga. In Vijayawada, devotees lit earthen lamps to offer prayers near Krishna river on Kartik Purnima or Dev Diwali in Vijayawada.
The month of Kartik, the eighth lunar month per the Hindu calendar, is considered the holiest month among all lunar months. This auspicious month holds great importance as it is dedicated to the worship of both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The ritual of taking a holy dip during Kartik month begins on the day of Sharad Purnima and ends on Kartik Purnima.
In Odisha, a large number of people took part in the yearly ritual of floating boats. Kartik Purnima is also known as the Boita Bandana or Boat festival in the state. Men, women and children celebrate the festival by setting afloat miniature boats to mark the day.
People in Odisha woke up early, bathed and visited temples to celebrate Kartik Purnima, the full moon day of the holy month of Kartik, today. They then congregated near water bodies to set afloat toy boats with lighted lamps (diya), betel leaves, flower, milk, supari, cracker fruits and coins to mark a thousand years old boat festival called Boita Bandana.
The last five days of the auspicious month of Kartika are called Panchuka of which the last day is known as Kartik Purnima. It is considered a significant day to celebrate the maritime glory of the Odisha.
Many devotees also believe that tradition is meant to offer prayers to their ancestors and seek their blessings.
The legend associated with Kartik Purnima is the episode where Lord Shiva killed the demon king Tripurasura. Per the legends of Tripuri Purnima, Tripurasura defeated Gods and started ruling their kingdom. Once Tripurasura was killed, gods are believed to have descended on Earth and the day also came to be known as the 'Deva Deepawali' or Diwali of Gods.