Varanasi – The city of Fairs and colorful Festivals

Home » Varanasi – The city of Fairs and colorful Festivals

India, the land of diversity celebrates several festivals and festivals are some of the best excuses to plan for a vacation. Enjoying the festive season of Varanasi adds more fun, joy, and thrill to your Varanasi tour and make it even more memorable and exciting. Varanasi happens to be one of the holiest places as it is bestowed with several ancient temples, Ghats, and many other religious sites.

Festivals in Varanasi have a special meaning and remain to be the heart of unmatched Hindu culture. Check out the list of the below listed Varanasi festivals that make the travelers lose themselves in the vibe. Buddha Purnima, Chhath Puja, Kumbh Mela, Durga Puja, Ganga Dussehra, and many more.

Fairs and Festivals of Varanasi

Ganga Mahotsav

One of the most happening and famous festivals in Varanasi, Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated every year to pay honor and tribute to River Ganga. The festival continues for 5 long days and it is believed to be a perfect opportunity to the traditional and cultural vibrancy that this holy city exhibits. You will be amazed to witness the fun, music, and the colorful dance that you find here.

There are several names that are linked to this auspicious occasion which has performances by some well-known personalities namely Balmurli Krishna, Vilayat Khan, and Ustad Bismillah Khan. The combination of music touching the soul and the spiritual aura of the city takes the glory of the festival to the next level.

When do we celebrate it?

The celebration of the festivity starts 15 days prior to Diwali and usually occurs in the month of October/ November.

Maha Shivratri

A festival celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm and that too in the entire country with a lot of enthusiasm and you will see thousands of pilgrims gathering inside the temple to worship Lord Shiva, the supreme deity of Hindus. This auspicious annual festival is organized every year on the 14th day of Phalgun and this marks the ending of the winter months.

It is believed that visiting this temple on Maha Shivratri and doing the philosophy of the deity with complete sincerity fulfill all your dreams and desires. The ceremony of the wedding procession of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati commences late in the evening and continues till next morning.

When do we celebrate it?

This grand occasion is organized every year on the very 14th day of Phalgun month.


One of the most significant Hindu festivals celebrated in Varanasi is Holi, the festival of colors. The entire city looks immensely colorful and filled with positivity and people over here celebrate the festival with great pomp and enthusiasm. You get to see several people celebrate this festival of colors by throwing them in the air and by bursting the balloons filled with water and colors.

Holi in Varanasi is celebrated in a wonderful manner that no one would ever want to forget in their entire life.

When do we celebrate it?

This Hindu festival is celebrated in the month of Phalgun.

Dev Deepawali

Organized every year on the 15th day of Kartik month, Dev Deepawali is one of the most auspicious occasions celebrated in Varanasi. People in the city take part in this festive season with great joy, fun, and enthusiasm to honor the divine river Ganga. Likewise, Diwali, in this festival people of Varanasi start cleaning their homes and ghats at least a week before and this shows that how significant this festival is for Hindus.

There is a belief among the locals that the gods and goddesses come down on the earth from the heavenly sphere to celebrate with the masses. Visiting the holy Ghats in the city offers you a unique experience as this is the day where several Diyas are placed carefully all around the Ghats and the steps. One can witness the traditional and cultural performances like Dancing, Singing, Recitals, Kushti, etc.

When is this festival celebrated?

Dev Deepawali is organized every year on the fifth day of Kartik month with great pomp and positivity.

Makar Sankranti

Popularly celebrated as Kite festival in Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Pongal in the southern regions where as in some parts of the nation, the day is celebrated as Lohri. It happens to be one of the great Varanasi festivals and the sight of the city is pretty admiring that one love to fall in love with. The entire city is dipped in immense spiritualism and devotion.

Makar Sankranti falls every year on 14th of January and the local folks prepare some great delicacies and many other delectable cuisines associated with the occasion.

When is this festival celebrated?

Unlike several other festival of the city, Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year on a fixed date i.e. on 14th of January.


One of the most astonishing, fun, and holy festivals that is celebrated every year on the 4th day of Diwali, the festival of lights. As per the Vikram Samvat calendar, the day is believed to be the first day of the New Year. Many of the rituals that take place in this festival are intricately linked to several rituals of Diwali.

This happens to be the day when the devotes offer their prayers and gratitude for Lord Krishna and the rituals are then followed during Govardhan Puja.

When is Annakut festival celebrated?

This festival is organized on the very fourth day of Diwali.

Akshaya Tritiya

One of the most happening and preferred time to plan your trip to Varanasi as celebrating this people in the city offers you an incredible experience. Also called as Akha Teej, this festival happens to be one of the grand festivals of Varanasi. This astonishing occasion is beautifully reflects the wonderful connection of Akha Teej sharing with River Ganga, the holiest river of the country.

Akshaya Tritiya is believed to be the same day when Goddess Ganga had come from the heavenly to the earthly sphere. Another popular belief among Hindus about this festival is associated with Lord Kuber, the custodian of wealth. It is believed that the deity earned his position and name on this very special day.

When is this festival celebrated?

The festival is celebrated in the month of Baisakh.

Panchkosi Parikrama

One of the most spiritual Varanasi festivals, Panch Kosi is believed to be an important and vital festival for the women of the country. As per Hindu mythology, Panch Kosi Parikrama will only be completed when the pilgrims passes through the five divine sites of Rameshwar, Kardmeshwar, Kapildhara, Shivpur, and Bhimchandi. This important ancient Parikrama commences from Manikarnika Ghat and concludes at the same point only.

The married ladies of the city wakes up very early in the morning to participate in their procession and starts their Parikrama by taking a refreshing bath in River Ganges. During the Parikrama they are not allowed to feed themselves and can only eat food after they finish their procession.

When is this festival celebrated?

There is no specific date to complete this Parikrama and one can complete this activity in Phalgun, Vaishakh, and Chaitra.

Chhath Puja

A very popular Hindu festival celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm, Chhath Puja is a festival that holds a diverse history. In this festival, the local folks worship the setting sun in the evening and next morning they worship the rising sun. The festival is devoted to the god of energy or sun and it is believed to be the day where devotees thank Lord Sun by fasting for the entire day.

They offer their prayers and perform several rituals to God Sun and stand in water. The devotees prepare a special Prasad to offer the deity and offer sugarcane, dry fruits, fruits, etc. and offer them all as Arghya to the deity. Hindus believe that worshipping sun helps in curing several diseases like leprosy.

When is this festival celebrated?

This auspicious and hugely significant Hindu festival is several twice a year i.e. in the month of April and then in the month of October/ November.


Another famous Varanasi festival, Dhanteras is celebrated every year on the very first day of Diwali and is popularly called as Dhanvantari Trayodashi. This festival is celebrated between October and November and is a lifelong festival organized on the Trayodashi day of Krishna Paksha. This is the day when the devotees pay their offerings to Goddess Lakshmi to attain not only a wealthy life but also prosperous.

Hindus believe that worshipping Goddess Lakshmi with complete sincerity blesses them with a great monetary value for the entire year. Hence, if you are looking for a great time to plan your holiday in Varanasi then Dhanteras happens to be the perfect time where you can participate in the happening Dhanteras Puja celebrated with great zeal, show, pomp, and enthusiasm.

When is this festival celebrated?

Dhanteras is one of the most auspicious festivals of Varanasi celebrated on the very first day of Diwali, the color of Light.

Hanuman Jayanti

This divine festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Hanuman, a deity in Vanara Avatar and the Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. The day is celebrated on the spiritual occasion of Chaitra Purnima or Shukla Paksha. Almost everyone in the city makes their way to explore the Hanuman Temples to seek the blessing of the deity. This Hindu festival represents power and pure energy represented by Lord Hanuman.

When is this festival celebrated?

This special day is organized on the full moon day of Chaitra month that usually falls on 14th day of Ashwin.

Above enlisted are some of the most famous Varanasi festivals where you can enjoy a wonderful time celebrating these auspicious festive seasons. Participating in these festivals let you will totally transform your life and make you get closer to the vibrant and splendid culture of Varanasi. So what are you waiting for now? Plan your Varanasi tour and enjoy these festivals with your family, friends, and other loved ones.

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