Narak Chaturdashi

Religion: Hindu
Country: India
Upcoming Narak Chaturdashi is on 31 October 2024 (Thursday)

Days Remaining in Narak Chaturdashi 2024

Naraka Chaturdashi is the second day of the festival of Diwali. Known by several other names like ‘Choti Diwali’, ‘Kali Chaudas’ and ‘Roop Chaturdeshi’, this festival is celebrated to remove laziness and bad habits from ourselves and cleanse out our surroundings as well. The eve of Naraka Chaturdashi prepares humans to shed light on their lives and illuminate it with peace and happiness. 

Narak Chaturdashi Significance

There are a number of legends surrounding the origin of this festival. One of the important ones is the story of Narakasur. The demon king had acquired great powers by severe penance and had defeated Lord Indra to begin his tyranny over saints and women. To end his misgivings, Lord Krishna killed the demon a day before Narak Chaturdashi and released all the saints and damsels that have been imprisoned by him.

Another legend states the enlightenment of King Bali by Lord Vishnu on this day. King Bali had immense wealth and ruled over the entire universe. One day, the Lord incarnated as a dwarf beggar and asked Bali to grant him the land that he covered by his 3 steps. His miraculous powers forced Bali to yield his kingdom, heaven and even his crown to Lord in the mere 3 steps. Also, this day also marks Hanuman Jayanti, or the birthday of Lord Hanumana. On this day, he returned to Ayodhya to inform everyone about Lord Rama’s return.

The Festivities

It is believed that bathing in the wee hours of the morning on this day releases man from the tortures of hell. In all parts of India, people take a special bath before sunrise with ‘ubtan’. It is a special paste made of ground gram flour, oil, kumkum and other fragrant powders. The Kumkum and oil paste symbolises the blood of the demon king Narakasura with which Lord Krishna marked his forehead. During the bath, Hindus offer libation to Lord Yama to please him. Many people also observe fast on this day.

The eve of Diwali is celebrated by decorating every corner of cleaned homes and offices with lamps and flowers. People light ‘diyas’ on Naraka Chaturdashi, worship Goddess Lakshmi and burst crackers to begin the grand celebrations of the next day.