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Updated by Fritzjames Stephen on Jun 02, 2014
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Top 5 Festivals in Varanasi - Celebrations of Culture, Life and Tradition

Varanasi is a picturesque place where the faith of a countless Indians pulsates through the air in the form of Vedic chanting and is beautifully witnessed in the silent reverie that radiates from the locals you meet on its streets that outline the river bank. The Hindu's call this place the abode of Shiva, a description truly apt and fitting to the glory of the old, old city. Numerous religious festivals feature prominently as part of the area's culture.

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1. Shivaratri

1. Shivaratri

Taking place in the months of February and March, the Shivaratri celebrates the marriage of Shiva. As the city is recognised as the abode of Shiva, the citizens celebrate with great gusto and generously treat themselves to bhang, which is known as the intoxicant of choice of Shiva. For good accommodation, consider staying at The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi from where one could experience this fascinating celebration.

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2. Makar Sankranti

2. Makar Sankranti

This is yet another important festival here, when the skies of Varanasi light up with colour and beauty by the many fighting kites, which are locally known as patang, flown from the rooftops by the children of the city. This celebration marks the day the sun enters Capricorn, which falls on the 14th of January every year.

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3. Ganga Dussehra Festivasl

3. Ganga Dussehra Festivasl

In the months of May and June, the people of the land celebrate the arrival of the holy river from heaven during the Ganga Dussehra festival. Beauty of the richest kind marks this festival as well with the traditional 50 wick lamp that is lit in honour of the goddess.

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4. The Durga Puja

4. The Durga Puja

This beautiful festival includes the creation of a pandal and a pavilion and takes place for five days and commemorates the slaying of the demon Mahishasura by the goddess Durga.

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5. Ramlila at Ramnagar Fort

5. Ramlila at Ramnagar Fort

One will encounter devotional plays that depict scenes of the Ramayanaya being enacted for thirty days and serves as a popular celebration in this city that must indeed not be missed at any cost.