What Makes Narak Chaturdashi Special? Stories, Rituals, and More!

Fri, Nov 10, 2023
Team Astroyogi
  By Team Astroyogi
Fri, Nov 10, 2023
Team Astroyogi
  By Team Astroyogi
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 What Makes Narak Chaturdashi Special? Stories, Rituals, and More!

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, one of the much-celebrated festivals of India, is celebrated over five days, beginning with Dhanteras (also Dhanatrayodashi) and ending with Bhai Dooj. The Narak Chaturdashi festival usually coincides with Choti Diwali, the day before Diwali. Let’s discover more about Narak Chaturdashi and its significance.

When Is Narak Chaturdashi Observed?

Narak Chaturdashi, or Naraka Chaturdashi (as commonly known), falls on the 14th day (Chaturdashi) of the Karthik month, Krishna Paksha, as per the Hindu calendar. Narak Chaturdashi 2023 falls on Saturday, 12th November 2023. Generally, this festival celebrates Lord Shri Krishna's victory over the demon Narakasur.

Narak Chaturdashi Date and Time in 2023 – 12th November 2023

  • Abhyanga Snan Muhurat - 05:28 AM to 06:41 AM
  • Duration - 01 hours 13 minutes
  • Moonrise on Abhyanga Snan - 05:28 AM (Abhyang Snan during Moonrise and Chaturdashi)
  • Chaturdashi Tithi Starts - 01:57 PM on 11th November 2023
  • Chaturdashi Tithi Ends - 02:44 PM on 12th November 2023

The Abhyanga Snana timings can change from one city to the other. Hence, you can refer to your local Panchang to know the exact timings, according to where you reside.

Do check this out: Is Lighting 13 Diyas on Dhanteras The Key to Prosperity?

Naraka Chaturdashi – The Story behind the festival

Ancient Indian scriptures have various stories connected with Narak Chaturdashi. However, the following two anecdotes stand out as the most popular.

  • The killing of the demon, Narakasur

Narakasur, a dangerous demon with supernatural abilities, made it impossible for good beings to exist on the planet. He abducted 16 thousand of the gods’ wives as hostages and started tormenting saints and priests all over the globe. Unable to bear the suffering, everyone approached Lord Krishna to help them. As Narakasur had a curse that a woman would cause his death, Shri Krishna, with the help of his wife, Satyabhama, killed Narakasur on the 14th day of Krishna Paksha, Karthik month. Hence, people celebrate Narak Chaturdashi on this day and light up diyas.

An Interesting Read: Diwali 2023 Astrology: Is Your Zodiac Set for a Bright Celebration?

  • Mahabali and Vaman Avatar

Another story is that Lord Vishnu assumed the Vaman Avatar (the fifth Avatar of Vishnu) to win back the kingdoms annexed by Mahabali. He covered the entire kingdom of Mahabali with his three steps. Vaman Avatar, impressed by Mahabali’s generosity, bestowed a boon on him. Mahabali asked for the time slot between the Trayodashi (13th day) and the Purnima (full moon), during which his kingdom withstands the test of time. Anyone lighting diyas on Chaturdashi of the Krishna Paksha in Karthik month would be blessed with wealth and grandeur. It would also exempt them from the trip to Hell as it provided immunity from the God of Death, Yamaraj.

Thus, the practice of Deep Daan (donation of clay lamps) became a significant ritual on Naraka Chaturdashi.

Narak Chaturdashi – Celebrations

Naraka Chaturdashi, also known as Choti Diwali or Choti Deepavali (especially in Northern India), is celebrated with full enthusiasm throughout India. The Abhyanga Snana is the most significant feature of this festival. In Goa, people parade giant effigies of Narakasur on the streets. West Bengal celebrates Narakasur as the birthday of Goddess Kali by creating massive pandals of Goddess Kali and performing special Pujas.

Narak Chaturdashi – Rituals

  • The Abhyanga Snana is a critical feature of Naraka Chaturdashi. People wake up early and take an oil bath by applying Ubatan, a herbal paste made of flowers, oil, and other beautifying ingredients. Bathing during the Abhyanga Snana Muhurta is significant as people believe it frees them from the sufferings of Hell. Wearing new clothes after the bath is the custom as it wards off evil’s eye.
  • Naraka Chaturdashi falls one day before Diwali. Hence, people celebrate the festivals similarly by lighting lamps, worshiping various Gods and Goddesses like Lakshmi, and seeking her blessings. People also burst crackers on that day.
  • Some people fast on the day of Naraka Chaturdashi and worship Lord Kubera and Goddess Lakshmi with total devotion. They break the fast after completing the Puja rituals.
  • People also worship Hanuman on this day by offering flowers, sandalwood, and oil to the Hanuman deity. In addition, they prepare unique sweets using rice flakes, jaggery, and sesame seeds. Usually, these ingredients are taken from their fresh harvests. This practice is more prevalent in Western India.
  • People also worship their Kul Devi or Devta on Narak Chaturdashi. They make food offerings to their forefathers and receive their blessings.

Naraka Chaturdashi – Interesting facts

  • Abhyanga Snana is compulsory on Narak Chaturdashi.
  • Usually, people fill a vessel with water on Ahoi Ashtami during the Krishna Paksha in Karthik month. Then, they mix this water with their bathing water on Narak Chaturdashi. In addition, some people keep Ganga Jal in their homes to mix with their bathing water.
  • Light a lamp outside the main door in Yamaraj’s honor. It absolves you of your past sins.
  • People light diyas in their homes and places of work as it signifies warding off evil and ushering in prosperity.
  • Narak Chaturdashi has a specific period known as Nisheeth Kaal. People collect their useless things and throw them out of the house. It signifies the removal of poverty because people believe Goddess Lakshmi enters your home during Deepavali. So, cleaning your house of all the clutter means welcoming Lakshmi with her aura of wealth and prosperity.
  • Naraka Chaturdashi is known by different names throughout India. They are Choti Deepavali, Bhoot Chaturdashi, Roop Chaudas, or Naraka Nirvana Chaturdashi.

A Quick Read: Is Lighting 13 Diyas on Dhanteras The Key to Prosperity?

To Summarize

Naraka Chaturdashi is one of the few festivals in India to be celebrated throughout the country. This festival is a part of a long chain of festivals during Deepavali. So, many states in India have holidays during this period. The festivities start from Dhanteras and go on till Bhai Dooj. These festivals bind India and Indians together. Besides, knowing the significance of these festivals brings us closer to our rich heritage and culture. 

Hindu mythology is filled with cultural colors and divine energies, which can be understood with the help of an astrologer.

Do you have more questions about Narak Chaturdashi 2023? Or would you like to know the astrological significance of different festivals? If so, connect with Astroyogi astrologers on a Call or Chat for valuable information!


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