Naraka Chaturdashi is a Hindu festival, which falls on the second day of the festival of Diwali. The day is also known as Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas and Choti Diwali.
Kali means Dark (eternal) and Chaudas - Fourteenth. Thus, celebrated on the 14th day of the dark half of Kartik month, Kali Chaudas is the day allotted to the worship of Mahakali or Shakti and is believed that on this day Kali killed the most wicked Narakasura. Also referred to as Naraka-Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas is day to abolish laziness and evil which create hell in our life and shine light on life. The strength to protect others is referred as Kali, and if its used for God's work is called Maha-kali.
In Goa,on this day, paper-made effigies of Narakasura, filled with grass and firecrackers symbolising evil, are made.These effigies are burnt at around four o'clock in the morning the following day/ Firecrackers are burst, and people return home to take a scented oil bath. Lamps are lit in a line.The women of the house perform aarti of the men, gifts are exchanged, a bitter berry called kareet is crushed under the feet in token of killing Narkasur, symbolising evil and removal of ignorance. Different varieties of Poha and sweets are made and eaten with family and friends.
Rituals associated with Kali Choudas
The puja is performed with oil, flowers, and sandalwood. Coconuts are also offered to Hanuman and prashad of sesame seed, jaggery and rice flakes(poha) with ghee and sugar.
The rituals of Kali Choudas is strongly suggestive of the origin of Diwali as a harvest festival is performed. On this day delicacies are prepared from pounded semi-cooked rice (called Poha or Pova). This rice is taken from the fresh harvest available at that time. This custom is prevalentboth in rural and urban areas especially in Western India.
On this day, a head wash and application of kajal in the eyes is believed to keep away the kali nazar (evil eye). Some say that those who are into tantra, learn their 'mantras' on this day.
Alternatively, people offer Nived (food) to the goddess that is local to where they are originally from. This goddess is called their Kul Devi, in order to cast off evil spirits. Some families also offer food to their forefathers on this day. The second day of Diwali is known as Kali Choudas in Gujarat, Rajasthan & few part of Maharashtra.
On this day Hindus get up earlier than usual. The men will rub their bodies in perfumed oils before bathing (Abhayanga Snaan). Afterwards, clean clothes are worn; some people wear new ones. A large breakfast is enjoyed with relativesand friends. In the evening, a mix of bright and loudfireworks are set off in an atmosphere of joyful fun and noise. Special sweet dishes are served as part of the midday meal. House are lit with oil lamps during the evening.
In Bengal and east India, this day is called Kali Chaudas and celebrated as the birthday of Ma Kali.
In Bengal Kali Ma's murti's are set up in pandals and Kali puja is performed on
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