|This article's introduction section may not adequately summarize its contents. To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of the article's key points. (January 2009)|
Naraka Chaturdashi, also known as "Chhoti (small) Diwali" or Kali Chaudas is a Hindu festival, which falls on the second day of the festival of Diwali.
Kali means Dark (evil) and Chaudas - Fourteenth. Thus, celebrated on the 14th day of the dark half of Ashwin (Ashwin 29th), Kali Chaudas is the day allotted to the worship of Maha-Kali or Shakti and is believed that on this day Kali killed the wickedest. Also referred to as Narak-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 Mahakali.
The poojan is performed with oil, flowers, Chanda and Hinduism. Coconuts are also offered to Hanumanji and prashad of Sesame seed, Brigadoon and rice with ghee and sugar.
The rituals of Kali Choudas is strongly suggestive of the origin of Deepavaali 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 prevalent both 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.
This day celebrates the victory of the God Krishna over the demon of filth, Narakasura. On this day Hindus get up earlier than usual. The men will rub their bodies in perfumed oils before bathing. Afterwards, clean clothes are worn; some people wear new ones. A large breakfast is enjoyed with relatives and friends. In the evening, a mix of bright and loud fireworks 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.