The five-day festival of lights has already begun today with Dhanteras which will be followed up by Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi. This year, Choti Diwali will be celebrated on October 26, 2019. Naraka Chaturdashi falls on the 14th day of Krishna Paksha according to the Hindu calendar. Usually, as per traditions and rituals, Choti Diwali is celebrated by performing morning prayers and then it is followed by festivities. Some people also believe that by taking the holy bath on this day, a person will not go to hell after death. During the holy bath, you need to use sesame oil.
On this day, devotees from West Bengal pray to Goddess Kali. Apart from this, people also prepare several delicacies like Poha and this is made also because it is harvests season. Also another ritual that is followed by many is to take a head wash and women apply kajal because they believe this will keep them away from evil or buri nazar as said in Hindi. And those who come from Pandits and Pujari background learn all their mantras today. Some people also offer food to their ancestors on Naraka Chaturdashi.
According to Srimad Bhagavatam, Naraka is the asur son of mother Earth Bhudevi (Bhumi) and Varaha (third avatar of Narayan). A peace-loving and pious Naraka became an evil and cruel demon, Narakasur due to his association with a demon named Banasura. Naraka added the suffix of ‘asur’ to his name to become Narakasur. He troubled his subjects and ill-treated women, something that cost him his life eventually. When the news of Narakasur humiliating women reached the ears of Satyabhama, wife of Lord Krishna, she became enraged.
Satyabhama approached Krishna and requested him to bring an end of Narakasur. The day when Lord Krishna killed Narakasur is worshipped as Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali. The legends state Narakasur’s mother Bhudevi had declared that her son’s death should not be a day of mourning but an occasion to celebrate and rejoice. Hence, the day is marked as Choti Diwali celebrated ahead of main Deepavali night.
Yam Deep Muharat: From 05:37 pm to 06:55 pm
Pradosh Kaal: 05:38 pm to 08:13 pm
Vrishabh Kaal: 06:50 pm to 08:45 pm
On Choti Diwali, people worship the god of death Yamraj and perform Deep Daan.