Naraka Chaturdashi 2021: The fourteenth tithi of Kartik Krishna Paksha is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi in India. The auspicious day also marks the second day of Diwali festivities.
Named after the mythological demon Narakasura, this year the festival falls on November 3, 2021.
According to Mythology, Narakasura was the son of Bhudevi and Lord Varaha (an avatar of Shri Vishnu). He knew that as per Lord Brahma’s boon, nobody except his mother could kill him, as a result which he became complacent. Once he attacked Lord Krishna, and his consort, Sathyabama, who was an incarnation of Bhudevi. Bhudevi killed Narakasura, thereby sanctifying Brahma’s boon.
However, Narakasura pleaded to Bhudevi, sought her blessings, and wished for a boon. He wanted to become immortal in the memories of people and hence wanted people to celebrate his death by lighting lamps. Therefore, it is said that people celebrate Naraka Chaturdashi, which is actually the death anniversary of Narakasura.
The day is therefore celebrated as a way to get rid of negativities.
People perform a ritual of bathing called Abhyanga Snan which symbolises purification of the mind and the body. On this day, people first apply sesame oil on their head and body and then cleanse it with ubtan before wearing new clothes. This year the muhurat for Abhyanga Snan is on November 4, 5:40 AM to 6:03 AM.
According to Drik Panchanga:
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins – 09:02 AM on Nov 03, 2021
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 06:03 AM on Nov 04, 2021
Another legend has it that Goddess Kali killed Narakasura and triumphed over him. Hence, some people refer to this day as Kali Chaudas.