Chhoti Diwali

The day before Diwali is popularly known as Chhoti Diwali and witnesses the same celebrations as Diwali but on a smaller scale and hence named so.

Various legends are associated with this 14th day of the Hindu month of Kartik and accordingly, the day is also known as Kali Chaudas and Naraka Chaturdashi.

In the year of 2017, Chhoti Diwali is on 18th October.


One of the legends associated with Chhoti Diwali is that of King Bali, the ruler of netherworld. As the legend goes, his increasing power and influence posed a threat to the deities who pleaded Lord Vishnu for help.

Lord Vishnu appeared before Bali in the guise of a short Brahmin, ‘Batu Waman’, and begged him to grant him only as much land as his three steps could cover.


King Bali who was known for his philanthropy, looked at the Brahmin’s short stature and granted him his wish. Just as he did so, the Brahmin disappeared and Lord Vishnu appeared instead! In first step he covered heaven, in second the earth and then he asked Bali as to where he shall place his third step to which King Bali offered his head.

Lord Vishnu put his third step on Bali’s head and pushed him deep under the ground! However, impressed by the King’s generosity, Lord Vishnu blessed him with the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to visit earth once a year to light millions of lamps.

So, as is believed, it is on the 14th day of the Hindu month of Kartik every year, that Bali visits the earth to dispel the darkness of ignorance and spread the light of awareness and righteousness.



Killing of Narakasura

As the legend goes, a demon king named Narakasura defeated Lord Indra in a battle and snatched away precious earrings of Goddess Aditi, the ruler of Suraloka and a relative of Lord Krishna’s wife, Satyabhama.

To agonise the Gods, he misused his powers and imprisoned sixteen thousand women, including daughters of Gods and saints, in his harem.

This enraged Satyabhama, who prayed Lord Krishna to empower her so that she could kill Narakasura, who was cursed to be killed by a woman.

Lord Krishna empowered Satyabhama and became her charioteer in the battlefield. Satyabhama beheaded Narakasura, released the captured women and recovered Aditi’s earrings.

To save the women from disgrace, Lord Krishna accepted them all as his wives. As a symbol of victory over Narakasura, Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood and returned home with his wives early next morning, on Chaturdashi. The women gave him a bath and washed away all the grime and blood.

Since then, this day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi, and a tradition is followed where men wake up early in the morning, smear their foreheads with ‘tilak’, apply scented oils on their body and take an early bath. The first meal of the day is a grand feast attended by both family and friends.

In the evening, homes are decorated with lights and lamps and fireworks are enjoyed by all.


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