It's only been a few days since we concluded our Dussehra and Durga Puja celebrations, but the nation has no time to pause and breathe it seems. Why, you ask? Because Diwali 2018 is just around the corner! This year Diwali would be celebrated on 7th November, 2018. But before the festival of lights, there awaits a line of other festivals too, the preparations of which have also begun in full swing. The auspicious day of Dhanteras falls on 5th November this year, and Choti Diwali would be celebrated on 6th November, 2018. Choti Diwali is also known as Narak Chaturdashi and falls on Chaturdashi (fourteenth day) of the Krishna Paksha in the Vikram Samvat Hindu Calendar month of Kartik. Read to know why the festival holds such immense significance in Hindu faith.
(Also Read: Diwali 2018: Dates, Calender, Lakshmi Puja Muhurat and Special Foods Served On Deepavali)
Choti Diwali, Narak Chaturdashi Puja Time
Abhyang Snan Muhurta = 05:08 AM to 06:44 AM
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins = 11:46 PM on 5/Nov/2018
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends = 10:27 PM on 6/Nov/2018 (Source: drikpanchang.com)
Choti Diwali 2017: Significance and History of the Festival
Choti Diwali is celebrated a day before Diwali. In many parts of the country, the festival is celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi. It was named after the great battle of Narakasura and Lord Krishna. According to scriptures, the demon king had held 16,000 girls in his cruel hostage. Lord Krishna defeated the demon and relieved the girls from his rule. Since the girls were unsure of their future and acceptance in the society, they went to Lord Krishna for advice. Lord Krishna and his wife Queen Satyabhama, decided that they should all marry Lord Krishna and be recognised as his wives.
On Choti Diwali, many people perform Abhyang Snan or take a bath in the holy Ganges River. According to scriptures, taking the holy dip could absolve a person of his previous sins and he/she could be saved from going to Naraka or hell. Til or sesame oil is used for ubtan or a special face mask that is applied during the holy bath. After the bath, people deck up in new clothes and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast. In Maharashtrian households, puran poli and misal pav preparations are very famous.
In the evening, people light several diyas in and around their house. They also enjoy many different kinds of sweetmeats.