The month of November is here and people are already prepping up for the next big festival in the Indian calendar- the festival of lights, Diwali. It is one of the most awaited times of the year as it is celebrated so enthusiastically across the country. Each day during the festival has its special significance and as we pride about our multi-cultural existence, the traditions and rituals also differ from place to place. Diwali 2018 falls on November 7. But the festival is not restricted to one day, the festivities go around for other days too. But before the main day of Diwali, a Choti Diwali, also called the Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated a day before. Narak Chaturdashi 2018 will be celebrated on November 6. It is a day before the Lakshmi Puja on November 7 and people follow certain rituals even for Choti Diwali.
In some parts, Naraka Chaturdashi is also called as Kali Chaudas. Diwali is a time when the preparations begin at least a week or two in advance. People decorate their houses, perform puja, prepare special dishes and spend good time with their friends and family. There are certain rituals and pujas that are held during the festival. Choti Diwali is celebrated with equal enthusiasm and the day starts early with people having a holy bath also called the Abhyang Snan. Kali Puja 2018 Date: Pujo Shubh Muhurat Timings, Significance of Worshiping Maa Kali During Diwali.
Naraka Chaturdashi 2018 Date
Naraka Chaturdashi or Narak Chaturdashi falls on the 14th day of the month of Ashwin. So it usually falls during the months of October and November. This year Narak Chaturdashi falls on October 6, 2018.
Naraka Chaturdashi History and Significance
The day of Naraka Chaturdashi is named after a demon king, Narakasura. According to mythology, there was a big battle between Lord Krishna and Naraka. The demon was very powerful and had defeated many Gods in the past. He is said to have imprisoned 16,000 women because he believed that only a woman would kill him. The cruel king did them harm and thus the Gods informed Lord Krishna about Narakasura’s atrocities.
Lord Krishna challenged the demon to fight with him. It was a very significant battle as Lord Krishna’s wife Queen Satyabhama was also a part of the fierce fight. Satyabhama also proved as a security to the women trapped in Narakasura’s rule. Lord Krishna felt weak while the battle was going on. Queen Satyabhama then took the charge and killed Narakasura. This was because Naraka had a boon that only a woman would kill him. All the women in captive of the demon were released.
The story behind Naraka Chaturdashi is, when Naraka was on his deathbed, he asked for forgiveness from Lord Krishna and his wife. They both decided to forgive the demon and said, his death will be celebrated and remembered. Thus the day of Naraka Chaturdashi is a celebration with much joy.
What is Choti Diwali and How is it Celebrated?
The day before the main Diwali day is called as Choti Diwali. On this day, people get up early and have a holy bath called the Abhyang Snan. It is of a common belief that taking a holy dip will absolve people of their sins. An abhyanga snan is when people apply perfumed oil and utan on their body and take a bath. People wear new clothes, jewellery, decorate the houses and then head out to mark celebrations by bursting light crackers. The breakfast for the day consists of all the special items that have been prepared well in advance for Diwali day.
Choti Diwali marks the beginning of the joyful atmosphere of the festival. The festive vibe is seen everywhere with colourful lamps and lanterns decorating the houses. Many people make rangolis outside their homes. A good feast of Diwali snacks is enjoyed. At several places programmes are also held to collectively gather and ring in the celebrations. We wish you all a very Happy Diwali 2018!