Tripurari Purnima, or Tripura Poornima, is the full moon day in the Kartik month in a traditional Hindu calendar. The day celebrates the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasura and the destruction of the three cities – Tripuri – made by demons. The day is also known as Kartik Poornima and Dev Diwali.
This day marks the ending of Kartik month as per the hindu calenders During Kartik Purnima, Dev Diwali, Deepotsavam and Ganga Mahotsav are observed.
This festival is dedicated to River Ganga and devotees pay their tribute to Ganga Mata. It is believed that on Dev Deepavali, Gods descend on Earth.
During Dev Diwali, a cultural festival called ‘Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated in Varanasi. Prabodhini Ekadashi is the important day in these celebrations. Large number of people throngs to Dasaswamedh Ghat to witness the event.
Kartik Snan and Deepdaan are main rituals performed during Dev Diwali. At the time of sunrise devotees do Kartik Snan and in the evenings they perform Deepotsav. Deepotsav is lightening Diyas or earthen lamps. Deepotsav is an eye-catching celebration on Dev Deepavali day. ‘Ganga Aarti is the grand event to participate on this day. Large number of people performs Aarti to Ganga Mata amidst the multitude prayers and mantras.
The legend has it that a powerful demon named Tripuri or Tripurasura built three impregnable cities of gold, silver and iron with the blessing of Lord Shiva. The demon became so powerful and his inflated ego knew no bounds and started attacking and tormenting humans and demi gods (devas). Brahma and Vishnu failed to contain Tripurasura who was armed with several boons from Shiva.
Finally, the task of annihilating the demon fell on Lord Shiva and after three days of fight, Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura and destroyed the three cities – Tripuri. This great victory happened on the full moon day in Kartik month and therefore the day is celebrated as Tripuri Poornima and it is also the day of Dev Diwali – the Deepavali of Devas as they were liberated from the hands of the powerful demon.
Lighting of lamps in temples and homes in the evening after sunset in honor of Shiva is a major event on the day.
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