Naraka Chaturdashi is a prominent Hindu festival that is celebrated in most parts of India. It has special importance in the Northern part of India and is also known by the name Choti Diwali.
The celebration of this festival began on the second day of the five-day-long Diwali festival. There are various other names related to this festival such as Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas, Narak Chaudas, Bhoot Chaturdashi or Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi.
It takes place on the 14th day of the Krishna paksha in the Hindu calendar during the month known as Ashwin. There is another popular ritual that people follow on this day: the Abhyanga Snan (a Holy bath). People get up early in the morning and then take oil baths, do pooja and enjoy the festival. To keep evil or Nazar away, kajal is applied to the eyes after the bath. Most of the time firecrackers are used for enjoyment.
This feast is also known by the name Roop Chaudas or Festival of Beauty. It is considered the right time that is dedicated to preparing and beautifying oneself for the auspicious occasion of Diwali. To glam on this Roop Chaudas you can shop a variety of interesting beauty products such as beauty creams, lotions, serums and much more. A perfect time for women to glow in this festive season.
History Behind Naraka Chaturdashi
This religious festival has deep meaning, as per Hindu literature, there was a demon named Narakasura who was killed by Lord Krishna and Satyabhama. Lord Krishna is one of the most widely popular Hindu Divinities and is worshipped as a supreme god. Satyabhama is the wife of Lord Krishna who helped him to kill the demon king.
The Story goes back to the Krita Yuga (Golden Age) when Lord Vishnu Incarnated as Lord Varaha to rescue Mother Earth Bhudevi from Asura Hiranyaksha. During the fight between Lord Varaha and Hiranyaksha, the lord only had one exertion, a drop of sweat, which then fell on the ground, and a fully grown young warrior arose from it. His name was Naraka.
Mother earth had a special liking for her son and asked Lord Varaha that her son become invincible. After hearing Bhudevi’s prayer Lord Varaha pulled out one of his tusks and gave it to Naraka to use as a weapon when he find himself in grave danger. Centuries rolled by the Krita and Treta Yuga passed. Now the Dwapara Yuga has commenced. It was the time when people who had power brushed aside Dharma had grown in number. It is the right time for another Avatar of Lord Vishnu to uphold Dharma and root out Adharma. That’s how Lord Krishna came into existence and vanquished his wicked uncle Kamsa and brought the destruction of kings who are on the path of Adharma.
That’s when Naraka has grown uncontrollable with his powers and conquered earth and heaven. Lord Indra (Lord of Devas) came to Lord Krishna for help to kill the Invincible Naraka. Lord’s Wife Satyabhama was too upset after hearing about the misdeeds of Naraka and urged her husband to act. Soon Lord Krishna armed with his Sudarshana Chakra and other weapons left for Naraka’s fortress along with Satyabhama on Garuda (the Celestial eagle, which served as a vehicle for Lord Krishna). As he reached the fortress the battle began, Naraka was saving the weapon that his father Lord Varaha gave to him for a time like this. He threw his weapon at Krishna, causing him to fall unconscious.
At that moment Naraka thought he won, suddenly Satyabhama picked up the bow and continued the fight, Naraka found a worthy foe. He had no clue how to stop her, the duel between them raged on and suddenly Krishna opened his eyes. Naraka was amazed to see Lord Krishna standing up, he felt like his father’s weapon had failed him. But soon he understood it meant only one thing, his opponent was none other than Lord Varaha himself. He meekly submitted as Lord Krishna threw his Sudarshana Chakra at him. In his dying moments, he saw a light and the darkness was lifted as the dawn broke. Since then that day has been celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi.
How is It Celebrated in North India?
Celebrations of this day begin early in the morning with reverence. It begins with the age-old ritual of Abhyanga Snan, a holy bath taken before sunrise. People wake up early in the morning to perform holy baths with ubtan made from sesame oil, rose water, and Gangajal (river water) before sunrise. The day is celebrated by making and sharing a lot of sweets with friends and family.
To welcome Goddess Lakshmi, diyas and candles are placed on the front porch and house after sunset.
How is It Celebrated in South India?
- An offering of sandalwood, coconuts, oil, and flowers is made to the gods on this day as well as some prasad made of a sesame seed, jaggery, poha (rice flakes) and ghee.
- Deepavali is primarily celebrated on Naraka Chaturdashi in southern India.
- On the day following Naraka Chaturdashi, Diwali is celebrated on Amavasya (no moon night).
- Taking a bath on this day can help you get rid of Kali Nazar (evil sight).
- Some families also offer food to their forefathers on this day as a tradition.
- People apply oil to their whole body in the morning, then take a bath. They then celebrate the day with a hearty brunch with friends and family.
- This day’s evening is the most spectacular. Fireworks fill the sky with beautiful colours, lighting up the whole sky. Kids enjoy this day most by lighting fireworks with their elders.
- Diyas are placed in front of the house on this day. Which makes it an auspicious and special event.
Various types of rituals are conducted during Naraka Chaturdashi in multiple Indian states. Do you want to discover more about those ceremonies? We will assist you in collecting data on the different rituals. Continue reading to learn about the interesting moments and rites that take place on this day:
Rituals of Naraka Chaturdashi
Similar to Diwali, people light up their homes on this day using diyas and lamps. Each and every member of the family comes together to worship Goddess Lakshmi. Different offerings are provided to the Goddess and special prayers are given to seek her divine blessings.
In some other parts, devotees are observed doing fast on the day of Naraka Chaturdashi. The person who is performing the fast worships Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber with full devotion and only breaks the fast after completing all the puja rituals. In different states, they are celebrated differently. Some of them are mentioned below:
In Goa, there is a ritual that involves creating an effigy of the Narakasura Demon out of firecrackers and grass; the effigy represents evil.
It is burned around 4 a.m., and once the firecrackers have finished, the entire team returns home and takes a relaxing oil bath.
On this day, it is also standard practice for women to undertake aarti for men. This day also involves the exchange of gifts.
During this festival families across Maharashtra, Celebrate it in the same way. Especially in cities like Mumbai & Pune, people wake up early before sunrise and begin the day with ‘Abhyanga Snan’ with Ubtan (A special powdered mix prepared using Chandan, Amba Haldi, Multani Mitti, Khus, Rose, Besan and more).
In West Bengal, there is a tradition to celebrate Bhoot Chaturdashi.
On this day it is believed that there is a thin layer between the two worlds on the night of this day and different souls come to meet their loved ones.
There is also a belief that the forefathers of every family come to see their family members on this day. Hence there is a tradition of placing 14 diyas on that day to show the way and guide forefathers home and cast away the evil souls at that night. Every dark corner is lighted by diyas to dispel the darkness.
The occasion of Narka Chaturdashi marks the beginning of Deepavali in Karnataka which extends till Bali Padyami. According to the tradition after all the rituals, the day begins with a special lavish breakfast that has some interesting recipes.
So go ahead and celebrate Naraka Chaturdashi with some new unexplored rituals. There is n number of Diwali Festival deals & discounts available for you on all the essentials you need. Don’t miss this chance to celebrate this event in a grand way and make it a memorable one indeed!