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 colourful festival celebrations. Lakh of people including foreigners come to witness the joy and energy of the city’s cultural and religious celebrations every year. 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 FestivalMonth
1Dev DiwaliNovember
2Ganga MahotasavNovember
3Ganga AartiEvery Morning & Evening
4Masane Ki HoliFebruary or March
5Rangbhari EkadashiFebruary or March
6Maha ShivratriFebruary
7Nag NathaiyaNovember
8Boat FestivalJanuary
9Balloon FestivalJanuary

Dev Diwali in Varanasi

Dev Diwali in Varanasi

Dev Diwali is one of the popular festivals in Varanasi. This festival is celebrated on the 15th day of Diwali also known as Kartik Purnima. Dev Diwali holds special Importance and the tourism department and Dev Diwali committee make plans to organise this celebration in a good manner. Lakh of people including thousands of foreigners come to Varanasi to witness a glimpse of the Dev Diwali celebration at Ganga Ghat. 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. Stairs of Ganga ghat are being painted and boats are decorated in vibrant colours. Lakh of Diya are lit on the Ganga ghat every year. Laser show and fireworks show is being organised at Kashi Vishwanath Dham and Chet Singh Ghat. Know more here: Dev Diwali Celebration

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 honours 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. Ganga Mahotsav will begin on Rajghat and Rajendra Prasad ghat together every year.

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 colourful 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 colourful fanfare

Holi is played on hundreds of ghats by the Ganga every year. 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.

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.

Rangbhari Ekadashi in Varanasi

Rangbhari Ekadashi

Holi celebrations begin with a colourful Ekadashi in Kashi and Rangbhari Ekadashi is one of the main festivals in Varanasi. 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 worshipped Rangvari to wash away his sins. If you want to see its splendour, elegance, and chic, then you must visit Kashi Vishwanath once on this day!

Also Read:- Famous Food in Varanasi

Masan Ki Holi

Masan Ki Holi

One of the unique festivals in Varanasi is Masan Ki Holi. Kashi is the only city in the world where apart from Abir, Gulal, there is a Holi of pyre in the blazing pyres 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. Bhootbhavan himself comes to play Holi with his Ganas at Manikarnika, the Maha crematorium. Every year thousands of foreigners come down to this city to be active participants in this madness.

Also Read:- Famous Fort in Varanasi

Maha Shivaratri Celebration in Varanasi

Kashi is the city of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Shivratri is the day of Lord Shiva. Thus Maha Shivaratri is also one of the popular festivals in Varanasi. Kashi celebrates Shivratri with 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 one of the unique festivals in Varanasi. 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 colourful celebration that highlights Varanasi’s rich cultural diversity. 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 and 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.