CHHOTI DIWALI, 6 NOVEMBER 2018
Chhoti Diwali falls on the 2nd day of the entire 5-day Diwali festivity and celebration. Chhoti Diwali comes after the 1st-day celebration of Dhanteras. The Hindi word ‘Chhoti’ means small. Chhoti Diwali is also known as Naraka Chaturdashi. The Sanskrit word ‘Naraka’ means hell and refers to the demon King Narakasura in the context of the legend-story behind Naraka Chaturdashi. Chaturdashi is a number or date. Chatur part of Chaturdashi means 4 and Dashi means 10, therefore, Chaturdashi means 14.
Chhoti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi date is determined according to the Hindu lunar calendar. It falls on the 14th day, in the Krishna Paksha phase of the moon, in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. This corresponds to the Gregorian October-November period. Krishna Paksha is the waning-decrease phase of the moon in the fortnight.
The entire festivity dates for 2018 are—
Day 1: 5th of November, Monday – Dhanteras
Day 2: 6th of November, Tuesday – Chhoti Diwali
Day 3: 7th of November, Wednesday – Main Diwali
Day 4: 8th of November, Thursday – Govardhan Puja
Day 5: 9th of November, Friday – Bhai Dooj
According to one of the ancient legends regarding Naraka Chaturdashi, demon Narakasura had held 16,000 girls as hostages, confined to imprisonment. However, Lord Krishna defeated-beheaded the demon in a battle and came to the rescue of the girls, and saved them from the hell. The demon king ruled an area south of Nepal. The day of Chhoti Diwali is marked as rejoice and victory over this evil. In fact, it was the mother of the slain demon King Narakasura who declared this and not to mark the evil or demon’s mourning.
Many natives wake up and bathe early in the morning, often before sunrise, on the day of Chhoti Diwali. Many apply oil and paste of gram flour on their bodies. In south India, many break-smash a bitter fruit, which is the representation of the head of the demon. In the evening, many families start lighting their homes and surroundings with Diyas- oil lamps, colorful lights, etc.
A Mantra for Lord Krishna is—
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे,
हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे.
Also Read - Know All About DhanTeras, 5 November 2018