Choti Diwali 2018 also known as Naraka Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas and Naraka Nivaran is a Hindu festival, which falls on Chaturdashi (14th day) of the Krishna Paksha in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Ashvin. It is also known as Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas, Choti Diwali or Naraka Nivaran Chaturdashi. Hindus worship the God of death, Yamraj on this auspicious day. It is believed that those who perform abhyang snan or take the holy bath on this day, avoid going to hell. Also, during the holy bath Til or sesame oil is used and hence is also known as the Roop Chaturdashi.
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This year the nation is celebrating Choti Diwali on November 6, Tuesday. It falls on the 14th day in the month of Ashwin. It is considered to be celebrated to eliminate the idleness and evil from our life. Devotees worship Mahakali or Goddess Shakti whole day long. According to mythology, Goddess Kali defeated and killed Narakasura. This is also considered as the victory of good over evil. People offer puja in order to eliminate their laziness and wickedness from their life as well as bring real light into their life. People celebrate this day with fewer lights and fewer crackers. According to mythology, a powerful demon, asura named Narakasura was killed on this day by Krishna, Satyabhama and Kali. It is also known as Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas, Choti Diwali or Naraka Nivaran Chaturdashi.
Interestingly, Bhumi, the mother of Demon Narakasura, declared that the death of his son Narakasura should not be a day of mourning but an occasion to celebrate. Hence the second day of five days Diwali festival is celebrated as the victory of Lord Krishna over Narakasura. The day is known as Chhoti Diwali (Small Diwali) with fewer lights lit and fewer crackers burst.
In Bengal and east India, the day is celebrated as Bhoot Chaturdashi. People light 14 lamps or diyas at home. It is believed that these 14 lamps ward off evil spirits. Some also say that these diyas are lit in remembrance of past 14 generations of ancestors. It's believed that the night before Kali Puja, the spirits of these ancestors descend upon the earth. On Bhoot Chaturdashi, people also eat 14 types of saag or green leaves or choddo shaak. These vegetables are cooked and then eaten by the family together.
In Gujarat and some parts of western India, the night of Kali Chaudas is the most dangerous night of the year as exorcists and tantriks perform black magic on this day. Kali Chaudas night is the one to appease the unhappy souls. Crematoriums in and around the city are thronged by black magicians, priests and witch who perform specific religious ceremonies, which include a ceremony to please Lord Kaal Bhairav as well as goddess Meladi.
Muhurat Timings of Narak Chaturdashi as per Drikpanchang.com:
Abhyang Snan Muhurta — 04:59 to 06:40
Duration — 1 Hour 41 Minutes
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins — 23:46 on November 5, 2018
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends — 22:27 on November 6, 2018