Kali Chaudas Naraka Chaturdashi ranks among the well known festivals in India. Also known as Chhoti, this festival is celebrated by hundreds of people of the Hindu community. It is wide prevalent in almost all parts of India. Wide spread celebrations and enthusiasm take place during Kali Chaudas Naraka Chaturdashi.
Chaudas or Naraka Chaturdashi usually takes place on the second day of the Diwali festival. It is done to pay respect to Goddess Kali or Shakti. Kali is the form of darkness and Chaudas signifies the fourteenth day. For this reason the festival is celebrated on the 14th day of Ashwin month, according to the Indian calendar. The main objective of the festival is to praise the victory of good and virtue over the evil forces. It is done to abolish laziness and evil which brings darkness in our lives. Naraka Chaturdashi celebrates the victory of God Krishna over Narakasur, the demon of filth and dirt.
During Naraka Chaturdashi people go to the temples and offer pujas to Goddess Kali. The puja is performed with oil, flowers, Chanda and Hindu slokas. Coconuts and fruits are also offered. The prashad is prepared with sesame seed, Brigadoon and rice with a blend of ghee and sugar. After completing the worship, the prasad is distributed among the people.
There is also a social significance in the festival of Chaudas as it marks the time of the harvest. That is why the festival is celebrated both in the urban and the rural parts of India. People cook mouth watering delicacies prepared from pounded semi-cooked rice which is taken from the fresh harvest of the season.
Chaudas is celebrated with great enthusiasm and enjoyment. People take a bath with perfumed oil. After bathing, they wear new clothes. Women adorn themselves with colored clothes and traditional jewelry. All the family members have breakfast together. In the evening, people light fireworks in the sky and houses are decorated by lighting lamps and diyas.