5 Popular Festivals in Varanasi You Must Plan To Attend

festivals in Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the cultural cities in India. The city is famous for its vibrant and colorful festival celebrations. People come from all over India and around the globe to witness the joy and energy of the city’s cultural and religious celebrations. We are here to know more about festivals and celebrations in Varanasi and their importance. We will also know why you should attend these festival celebrations during your Varanasi tour.

List of Festivals in Varanasi

Here is the list of festivals celebrated in Varanasi:-

S.N. Name of Festival Month
1 Dev Diwali November
2 Ganga Mahotasav November
3 Ganga Aarti Every Morning & Evening
4 Masane Ki Holi February or March
5 Rangbhari Ekadashi February or March
6 Maha Shivratri February
7 Nag Nathaiya November
8 Boat Festival January
9 Balloon Festival January

Dev Diwali in Varanasi

Dev Diwali is one of the famous festivals of Varanasi. The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of Diwali by lighting hundreds of kerosene lamps around their homes. The river Ghats is decorated with lamps and people will float on the banks of the river.

Dev Diwali in Varanasi
Dev Diwali in Varanasi

It is definitely an artificial beauty, but with dusk, when all the ghats will be illuminated by the light of the lamp, at that time the beauty of the ghats will “work like four moons” or rather “gold on gold”.

The famous deity here is Deepawali lamps, which give beauty to the holy banks of Kashi and Maa Ganga. In the evening, when lamps are lit at all the ghats and the cooperation of all classes is received in Kashi, there is the participation of all Kashi residents. Then the view of these ghats becomes very picturesque.

Ganga Mahotsav in Varanasi

The Ganga is considered one of India’s most sacred rivers. The Ganga Mahotsav is a big cultural festival held in Varanasi. The event honors Varanasi’s rich heritage of culture as well as the significance of the Ganges in the lives of the city’s residents. The three-day celebration is usually held in November or December, depending on the Hindu calendar. 

Cultural performances, boat races, religious ceremonies, and other events celebrating the city’s traditions and art forms are part of the festival. The festival’s highlight is the Ganga Aarti, a stunning event done every evening on the banks of the Ganges where people burn lights and pray. 

The festival is an amazing and colorful celebration of the city’s cultural and religious heritage that attracts tourists from all across India and the world.

Also Read:- Famous Ghat in Varanasi

Holi Celebration in Varanasi

Varanasi, the holy city of India, sits beside the River Ganga and is the perfect setting to celebrate Holi. The talk of Holi of Kashi, the city of Shiva, is unique. The Holi of Banaras is also obstinate according to the mood of Banaras. From the ghat to the streets, the hue and cry of Holi are unique. The festival is attended by numerous Indians and foreigners who come here to get lost in the colorful fanfare

Rangbhari Ekadashi in Varanasi

Rangbhari Ekadashi In Varanasi
Rangbhari Ekadasi in Varanasi

Rangbhari Ekadashi is one of the main festivals of Banaras, and if you want to see its splendor, elegance, and chic, then you must visit Kashi Vishwanath once on this day!

Holi celebrations begin with a colorful Ekadashi in Kashi, the beloved city of Lord Shiva. Some communities of Hindus started celebrating Holi from Rangbhari Ekadashi. Rangavari is the lineage of Lord Brahma, who can wash away human sins from the soul. As per the legend, after killing King Ravana, Lord Rama worshiped Rangvari to wash away his sins.

Also Read:- Famous Food in Varanasi

Masan Ki Holi

Masan Ki Holi Varanasi

In the Holi of Kashi, both raga and disillusionment are seen. Bhootbhavan himself comes to play Holi with his Ganas at Manikarnika, the Maha crematorium.

The only city in the world where apart from Abir, Gulal, there is a Holi of pyre in the blazing pyres and is popularly known as “Masan Ki Holi“. People play Holi before the Holi festival at Mahashamsan with the ashes of cremated bodies. It is an ancient ritual. When lord shiva plays Holi with his devotees at Mahashamshan.

What makes the Varanasi celebrations even more special is the fact that everyone is friends with everyone else on this holy festival, and by the afternoon you can see all of them sitting by the ghats and eating Gujhiya (a traditional sweet prepared on Holi) together. Every year thousands of foreigners come down to this city to be active participants in this madness.

People drink what is known as Thandai, infused with marijuana, milk, and dry fruits. In Varanasi, you can in fact buy it from Vishwanath Thandai Ghar, where they even have bhang Ladoos.

The city of Varanasi is known for its age-old temples, and you might want to visit some of them on an auspicious occasion. Holi celebration in Varanasi is not totally complete if you do not visit one of these temples.

Holi is played on hundreds of ghats by the Ganga every year. There is no dearth of water and the festive spirit is in the air along with the colors.

Also Read:- Famous Fort in Varanasi

Shivaratri Celebration in Varanasi

Kashi is the city of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Shivratri is the day of Lord Shiva. Thus the Kashi celebrate Shivratri is lots of joy and excitement. You can see a glimpse of the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati on this day. People gather across the bank of the Ganga River and celebrate this festival with ancient rituals. Baba Vishvanath Temple also decoraated on the day of Shivaratri festival. If you are a devotee of Lord Shiva, definitely you should attend the Shivaratri festival celebration in Varanasi.

Nag Nathaiya in Varanasi

Nag Nathaiya is a celebration held in Varanasi, India’s holiest city. It is a one-of-a-kind and beautiful event devoted to Lord Krishna that takes place every year in the month of Kartik (October-November), on the 14th day of the Hindu month’s dark fortnight. 

The celebration reenacts the well-known account of Lord Krishna defeating the serpent Kalia in the Yamuna River. The occasion is commemorated by erecting a massive effigy of the serpent and then reenacting the entire episode of Lord Krishna’s conquest of Kalia. The effigy is then carried in a magnificent procession to the Ganges, where it is drowned, symbolizing good triumphing over evil. 

The festival is a major tourist draw, attracting visitors from all across India and the world. It is a one-of-a-kind and colorful celebration that highlights Varanasi’s rich cultural legacy.

The natural beauty that Kashi enjoys is not seen in any corner of the world. Tourism will get a boost if its marketing and display are done properly at the world level. With Kashi, the country, the state, and Kashi will become stronger economically as well as the glorious history of Kashi will reach the world level.

These festivals are not just religious occasions, but also opportunities for cultural interchange and brotherhood, bringing people from all walks of life together in celebration. In this way, Varanasi’s festival celebrations highlight the city’s unique combination of and significant connection to its cultural traditions.