Choti Diwali or Choti Deepavali is celebrated a day before Diwali or Lakshmi Pooja and the festival is known by various names - Naraka Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas or Naraka Nivaran Chaturdashi. It is celebrated as the second day of the five-day long Diwali festival. It is believed that on this day, asura or demon Narakasura was killed by Krishna, Lord Vishnu's avatar. This year, Choti Diwali will be observed on October 26, Saturday. It will be followed by Diwali (October 27), Govardhan Pooja (October 28) and Bhaiya Dooj (October 29).
Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi Observance, Significance, Abhyang Snan time:
- On Choti Diwali, a bitter berry called kareet is crushed under the feet. This is symbolic of killing the demon Narakasura who symbolises evil. So the crushing of bitter berry indicates removal of ignorance.
- It is believed that on Naraka Chaturdashi, Lord Krishna took oil bath after killing demon Narakasura. The day is thus considered important to take ritualistic oil bath before the sunrise.
- On Choti Diwali's morning, age-old ritual of Abhyang Snan, a holy bath taken before the sunrise, is performed. Devotees apply an ubtan of rose and ganga water and sesame oil on the body before taking a bath. The day is thus referred as Roop Chaudas or Roop Chaturdashi.
- After the sunset on Choti Diwali, the home and the porch is decorated with diyas and candles to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
- Choti Diwali Muhurat or Naraka Chaturdashi Abhyang Snan Muhurat is 5:26 am to 6:38 am. Its duration is 1 hour 12 minutes. The moonrise at Abhyang Snan is at 5:26 am, per drikpanchang.com