People observe fast these last five days of Kartik mas and worship Bhishma. Those who observe vrat for entire Kartik Mas intensify it for these last five days.
Entire Kartik Mas is considered to be very sacred in Hindu religion. Ghats of Ganges at Varanasi witness many religious activities, specially held during this period. Bhishm Pitamah was Ganga Putra hence perhaps his last days on earth are remembered in this unique way here. Tarpan in Ganges, immersion of ashes of departed in Ganges is considered very significant and sacred in Hindu religion. Ganga Putra Bhishm's worship and his departure from earth to affectionate lap of his mother is observed with all the devotion, rites and rituals.
The various colored silken threads of deep emotions, devotion weaving the charismatic tapestry of our cultural heritage always fills my heart with amazement and calm.
Pictures --- Sunder Iyer.