Narak Chaturdashi also known as Chhoti Diwali is the second day of the Diwali festival. It is celebrated on the fourteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin.
It is the day on which demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna, 8th avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. The day signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. Hence special puja with offerings to Krishna or Vishnu, as he liberated the world from the demon Narakasura on this day.
The day is also known as Kali Chaudas in Gujarat and Roop Chaudasin Rajasthan.
In southern India, this is the actual day of festivities. On this day people of south India wake up early before dawn, take oil bath and dress in new clothes.
It is believed that people who do Abhyang Snan on Narak Chaturdashi can avoid avoid going to Narak. Til (i.e. sesame) oil should be used for Ubtna during Abhyang Snan.
On this day people light small lamps all around the house and draw elaborate kolams or rangolis outside their homes.
Another interesting celebration on Naraka Chaturdashi takes place in Goa where Effigies of the demon Narkasura are burnt in the evening of Naraka Chaturdashi along with bursting of firecrackers and parades.
In certain parts of the country, on this day people offer pujan to Hanumanji to remove in auspiciousness and fear of evil spirits and beings.
Naraka Chaturdashi 2017 Date :
In 2017, Naraka Chaturdashi will be celebrated on 18th October 2017 (Saturday).
Also Read : Dhanteras | Kali Chaudas | Diwali Lakshmi Pujan | Govardhan Puja | Bali Pratipada | Gujarati New Year | Bhau Beej