Choti Diwali. Because Diwali festivities aren’t enough to celebrate all in a single day!
The five-day long event of Diwali festivities in India is marked as the most important ones in the Hindu calendar. Starting from Akshay Tritiya (Dhanteras) to the last day of BhaiDooj, every day brings in something new and beautiful to the festive season. The second day in this series of events is none other than Chhoti Diwali, also popularly known as Naraka Chaturdashi or Roop Chaturdashi. The day is full of cultural history and customs that are still practised in some way or other by the Hindu devotees. How did the origin of Chhoti Diwali occur and in what ways is Roop Chaudas celebrated in our nation? Here’s everything about the infamous Chhoti Diwali day!
Mythology behind Chhoti Diwali
Just as the name suggests, Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated in the memory of Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabahama who defeated the cruel demon Narakasura on this day. Narakasura in his time had put women to atrocities. With his defeat by the hands of Lord Krishna, the safety of the women was ensured again.
In some parts of the nation, Naraka Chaturdashi is also celebrated with the name of Kali Chaudas. The north-east parts of India and the regions of West Bengal celebrate Kali Chaudas a day before the main Diwali to mark the conquest of Goddess Kali over Narakasura. Goddess Kali is the prominent deity of the people belonging to those regions and the devotees do not leave a chance to celebrate the big day with sheer dedication.
Goddess Kali, Lord Krishna and Yamaraja (the God of death) are worshipped on this day and prayers are extended for a healthy and peaceful life.
The significance of Choti Diwali
Choti Diwali is so much more than just a day before the main event of Diwali. The cultural history and beliefs have made Roop Chaturdashi an important day for the Hindus.
The legends and the ancient tales tell us about the origin of Diwali from the time of Lord Rama and his return to Ayodhya after a 14-year-long exile. The day happened to be Amavasya of the Kartik month as per the Hindu calendar. Therefore the people of Ayodhya illuminated oil lamps and diyas in the entire city to welcome their beloved King. Since then, people light diyas and lamps in their houses and pray for the lords to bless them with wealth and prosperity. The day before Diwali, Roop Chaturdashi is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the Shukla Paksha in Kartik month.
Ways Choti Diwali is celebrated in India
With diversity in region, belief and culture, Indians celebrate Chhoti Diwali differently. As it is a day before the main Diwali festivities, diyas are illuminated and houses are decorated with beautiful rangoli designs. Pre-preparations are made for the grand Diwali day. Deities are worshipped and prayers are made to Gods for showering love and light upon the devotees.
Worshipping Lord Krishna
The devotees of Lord Krishna offer prayers and prasad to their beloved god. Bhog is prepared and Diwali special food and mithai are shared with family and friends. People pray to the lord for blessing them with strength and a wish to be freed from their sins.
Worshipping Goddess Kali
The goddess of power and glory, Maa Kali is worshipped on this day and remembered for her courageous feats of conquering demons and making the earth a better place for the human clan. Maa Kali is worshipped by offering Bali (a sacrifice named for god).
Worshipping Yama Raja
The god of Death is made happy on this day by a great number of devotees. People take an early bath on the riverside and offer prayers to their lord by giving Ark
Choti Diwali Pooja
In the evening, houses are decorated well and the city is lit up in yellow lights all around. Families gather together and Choti Diwali pooja is offered to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. Sweets and savoury are shared with one another. The night sky is enlightened with fireworks and this marks the beginning of the main Diwali day.
The five days of Diwali are the most beautiful days of the year and hence it is the most anticipated festival by Hindus. Choti Diwali celebrations just make the next day look even more exciting and fascinating. The bright cultural history and the amazing customs and rituals make the day of Roop Chaturdashi just as significant as the main Diwali day.