How do you feel about waking up before sunrise? Well, maybe other days are super lazy but this one day before Diwali is worth seeing the sunrise for. And if you don’t, be careful! The devil may come for you. Just Kidding! But as a matter of fact, a day before Diwali is associated with devils and the ritual of fighting over devil before the rise of a new day and that is what Hindu culture has taught us. This red-letter day of Deepawali festival is known with many names throughout the country like Narak Chaturdashi, Roop Chaudas, Choti Deepawali, and Kali Chaudas.
Not only this day is known for buzzing alarms at 4.00 am in every house but also this day has 4 interesting concepts associated with it. Even the rituals for this day are different for every religion, for example, in Maharashtrians, families wake up before sun and apply oil on each other’s body at least before 15 mins of their time to go bathe, after the person has almost finished with bathing, the eldest lady of the house performs a small puja followed by small fireworks. There are really several ways of celebrating this special occasion but each and every ritual has a few sets of rules to make this day more special, like:
Of course, every family has their add-ons to this list. You may also be aware of the fact that Narak Chaturdashi has many other names and every name has its own significance. Find out what this day can mean the most for you in the following words:
Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi is usually shortened to Narak Chaturdashi. This is the second day of the 5-day festival Deepawali and also the second most important day of this festival. According to Hinduism, Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna along with his wife goddess Satyabhama slew demon Narkasura. It has been narrated that Lord Krishna himself took an oil bath during Brahma Muhrat (before sunrise) and that is why this day has a significance of bath before sunrise.
This festival is also known as Kali Chaudas for many religions. The reason understood to be is that this day Goddess Mahakali also defeated the demon Narkasura. For devotees of Mahakali, this is the day allotted to worship Mahakali or Shakti. Kali Chaudas is the day when a person is expected to abolish laziness and evil residing in his own self that is turning his life towards hell. The significance of Kali Chaudas defines a path towards the bright side of life.
This is the most practical concept associated with this day. A human body is beautiful and it’s really important to maintain its good looks. The real purpose of this day is to pour some light on the point that though eternal beauty counts the most, a person’s appearance and his body also mean a lot in their life. This day one can pray for two best gifts of his life i.e. a healthy and beautiful body. This concept is the reason for the addition of uptan (a paste of gram flour and fragrant powders) to the rituals. Roop chaudas is followed at its best in northern states like Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan e.t.c. And nevertheless, this ritual gives you an opportunity to get your glorious glow back so that you can flaunt yourself for the brightest festival of the year.
Since this day is just a day before the main day of Deepawali festival i.e. Lakshmi Pujan, this day is also notified as Choti Diwali. This may surprise you but in southern states, Diwali is celebrated on Choti Diwali itself. In Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu small paper-made effigies of Narakasura are burnt four-o-clock in the morning and other rituals are performed followed by several prayers in heart and to cease the day Lakshmi Pujan is also performed on this day.
As said earlier, every religion has their own way of celebrating this precious 14th day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Ashwin and that is what makes Deepawali the brightest festival of the year for the whole country. Even those who are devotees of other religion respect Diwali as the festival of lighting up unity in diversity. So make sure, that even you destroy the evil in you and celebrate this precious time with your loved ones safely. Happy Diwali, folks!