The morning later Chhoti Diwali, the women of the house make beautiful, colored rangoli in the doorway and courtyard. Tiny footprints created out of rice paste are a particular feature of the rangolis made for Diwali.
In Hindu homes, Chhoti Diwali festivity involves a ritual puja to Goddess Lakshmi and also to Rama in the evening. Songs in respect of the god are sung and aarti is performed.
LEGENDS BEHIND CHHOTI DIWALI
The story goes that the demon king Narakasur ruler of Pragjyotishpur later defeats Lord Indra had snatched away the splendid earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of the gods and saints in his harem.
On coming to know about this, Satyabhama was enraged by Narakasura’s malevolence towards women, and she appealed to Krishna to give her the golden opportunity to destroy Narakasura. The legend also says that Narakasura was given a curse that he would be killed by a woman.
Krishna allowed Satyabhama a boon to fight with Narakasura. Through the war, Krishna swooned for a while, a preordained divinely act adopted to empower Satyabhama to kill the demon.
CELEBRATION OF THE CHHOTI DIWALI
Women decorated their home with the stunning rangolis and flowers from prior in the morning. They stick tiny footprints of the Goddess Lakshmi on their home floor, which specifies that Goddess Lakshmi will come home and feel respected. In the evening, Lakshmi Puja is held at which finish with the great Arati and Bhajans.
ORIGIN, HISTORY AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF CELEBRATING THE CHOTI DIWALI
Chhoti Diwali is also called as Bali Pratipada (Pratiprada means under the foot of challenger). Bali was a very powerful king and day by day he was becoming much influential. The entire God had few fears with him that he may be emperor of all the three lokas.
THE STORY OF NARAKASUR
The story goes that the demon kings Narakasur rulers of Pragjyotishpur (Province to the South of Nepal) later; defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the splendid earrings of Aditi, the Mother of Goddess and incarcerates sixteen thousand daughters of the gods and saints in his harem.
On the day last to Narakchaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and releases the imprisoned damsels and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. His destruction made all happy and the women in particular saw his end as a moral triumph for them.
THE STORY OF KING BALI
With his valour Bali conquered each bit of space, thus he became the most influential king on earth. In his state, justice was mere word, truth had no place and happiness was a dream. His form of charity was a moment for pomp and display and those who went to seek Alms from the king Bali suffered the indignity of insults and humiliation.
In fact, he felt that the huge wealth will remain and the pittance he handed out now and again could not impact even an iota of his asset. His false trust, arrogance and misrule finished when the Lord disguised as a beggar and humble proved to Bali that his idea were totally wrong and even his huge wealth could disappear in seconds.
King Bali asked the dwarf beggar to ask for anything in his state and with three steps even his crown vanished. With his first step Lord Vishnu protect the entire heaven and with the second step the earth and asked Bali where to keep his third step.
In Maharashtra also, culture prior baths with oil and “Uptan” (paste) of gram flour and fragrant powders are a must. All through the ritual of baths, deafening sounds of crackers and fireworks are there in the sequence that the children enjoy bathing.
“In Bengal and east India, this day is called Kali Chaudas and commemorate as the birthday of Ma Kali. In Bengal Kali Ma’s murti’s are set up in pandals and Kali puja is doing on this day.”
CHHOTI DIWALI – THE NARAK CHATURDASHI CELEBRATIONS
People wake up prior to the morning break any bitter fruit and apply the kumkum-oil paste, which is called ‘Ubtan’, on their foreheads and then take bath. The breaking of the fruit presents the head of the demon King, Narakasur and the kumkum-oil paste represented the blood that Lord Krishna smeared on his forehead.
There is a tradition of taking a prior bath with rose petals in water and undertake oil massage to relax the body. Majorly, the day is used in shopping and planning of sweets.
VIDHI/METHOD OF PERFORMING CHHOTI DIWALI PUJA
In the evening, later taking bath, wear new clothes, have dinner and then perform the puja. Few people first perform puja and then have dinner.
Perform the puja by sprinkling roli and chawal on the photos, the deepaks and the silver coins.
Then the flowers are offered.
Light the agarbathi sticks and put them in a banana/agarbathi stand.
Dhoop is shown because the dhoop daani gets hot soon it is advisable to keep a little plate under it.
The eldest women of the house or a daughter of the house puts tikka for everyone performing the puja.
After puja, everyone does pranam to elders and seek their blessings.
Out of the 11 clay deepaks, seven deepaks and one choumukh deepak is left in the thali on the chowki. The remaining deepaks are kept outer the main gate of the house, puja room, kitchen, penda and other rooms of the house.
IN VARIOUS PARTS OF INDIA, CHHOTI DIWALI IS CELEBRATED IN VARIOUS WAYS
In Goa, Naraka Chaturdashi is commemorating with the creation of effigies of the demon, Narkasura. These are then paraded during the streets and are eventually burnt down, to symbolize victory of good over evil.
In south India, people plan a paste of kumkum and oil, called Ubtan, which they apply on their foreheads before taking their bath. Ubtan represents the blood that lord Krishna smeared on his forehead on his victory.
In western India, this fete also marks the harvest season. On this day, delicacies are planned from pounded semi-cooked rice called poha or pova. This rice is taken from fresh harvest.