Naraka Chaturdashi

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Naraka Nivaran Chaturdashi
Also called Roop Chaturdashi
Chhoti Diwali
Observed by Hindus
Type Religious, India and Nepal
Observances Prayers, Religious rituals
Date Ashvin Krushna Chaturdashi
2014 date 22 October, Wednesday
Frequency annual

Naraka Nivaran Chaturdashi(popularly known as Naraka Chaturdashi) is a Hindu festival, which falls on the second day of the five-day long festival of Diwali. The Hindu mythology narrates that the asura (demon) Narakasura was killed on this day by Krishna and Kali.[1] The day is celebrated by early morning religious rituals and festivities followed on.

Meaning in hinduism[edit]

Also called as Kali Chaudas, where Kali means dark (eternal) and Chaudas means fourteenth, this is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark half of Kartik month. In some regions of India, Kali Chaudas is the day allotted to the worship of Mahakali or Shakti and is believed that on this day Kali killed the asura (demon) Narakasura. Hence also referred to as Naraka-Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas is day to abolish laziness and evil which create hell in our life and shine light on life.

Rituals associated[edit]

The puja is performed with oil, flowers, and sandalwood. Coconuts are also offered to Hanuman and Prasad of sesame seed, jaggery and rice flakes (poha) with ghee and sugar.

The rituals of Kali Choudas is strongly suggestive of the origin of Diwali as a harvest festival is performed. On this day delicacies are prepared from pounded semi-cooked rice (called Poha or Pova). This rice is taken from the fresh harvest available at that time. This custom is prevalent both in rural and urban areas especially in Western India.

Krishna decapitates the demon Narakasura with his discus

On this day, a head wash and application of kajal in the eyes is believed to keep away the kali nazar (evil eye). Some say that those who are into tantra, learn their 'mantras' on this day. Alternatively, people offer Nivet is local to where they are originally from. This goddess is called their Kul Devi, in order to cast off evil spirits. Some families also offer food to their forefathers on this day. The second day of Diwali is known as Kali Choudas in Gujarat, Rajasthan & few part of Maharashtra.

On this day Hindus get up earlier than usual. The men will rub their bodies in perfumed oils before bathing. Afterwards, clean clothes are worn; some people wear new ones. A large breakfast is enjoyed with relatives and friends. In the evening, a mix of bright and loud fireworks are set off in an atmosphere of joyful fun and noise. Special sweet dishes are served as part of the midday meal. House are lit with oil lamps during the evening.

In Goa, paper-made effigies of Narakasura, filled with grass and firecrackers symbolising evil, are made. These effigies are burnt at around four o'clock in the morning and then firecrackers are burst, and people return home to take a scented oil bath. Lamps are lit in a line. The women of the house perform aarti of the men, gifts are exchanged, a bitter berry called kareet is crushed under the feet in token of killing Narakasura, symbolising evil and removal of ignorance. Different varieties of Poha and sweets are made and eaten with family and friends.[2]

In Tamil Nadu[edit]

In Tamil Nadu, Diwali is traditionally celebrated on Naraka Chaturdasi day while the rest of India celebrates it on the new moon night, which is the next day. People get up earlier and celebrate with oil baths, pooja, and festivals. Firecrackers are usually lit on Diwali. Some Tamil homes observe "nombu" and do Lakshmi Puja on this day.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ray, Dipti (2007). Prataparudradeva, the Last Great Suryavamsi King of Orissa (A.D. 1497 to A.D. 1540). Northern Book Centre. p. 89. ISBN 8172111959. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Sakhardande, Prajal. "Diwali and the Narkasur Battle". The Navahind times. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 

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