Diwali Festival


This day is also known as Balipratipada or Small Diwali.

Choti Diwali

The day before main Diwali is celebrated as 'Choti Diwali' or 'Small Diwali' or 'Naraka Chaturdashi'. People celebrate this day with fewer lights and fewer crackers.

The celebration of Choti Diwali
The women decorate their house with beautiful rangolis in the morning after choti diwali. Tiny footprints which symbolizes, as the footprints of Lakshmi, made out of rice paste are a special feature of the rangolis made for Diwali. In the evening Lakshmi Puja is done with Arati and Bhajans. After the puja, the diyas are placed in and around the house: in the doorway, near the Tulasi plant.

The origin of Choti Diwali
This day is also known as "Bali Pratipada". The word "Pratiprada" literally means "below the opponent's foot". According to the myth Bali was an immensely powerful king. When God felt that King Bali was becoming too powerful, Vishnu, disguised as a sage of diminutive proportions, appeared in his court. Bali offered to fulfill any of the sage's wishes. The sage asked for all the land he could cover in 3 paces. King Bali agreed immediately. Vishu then assumed a gigantic form and claimed the world (Mrityuloka), and the heavens (Swargloka) in two paces. To keep his foot down the 3rd time, he asked for King Bali's head. Bali agreed. Thus, the reign of Bali was overthrown.

Narakasur's mother Bhudevi declared that his death should not be a day of mourning but an occasion to celebrate and rejoice. Since then, Deepavali is being celebrated by people every year with joyous with lots of fun.

This day is celebrated in South India by some different rituals. People wake up before sunrise prepare a paste by mixing Kumkum in oil, symbolizing blood and after breaking a bitter fruit that represents the head of the demon King that was smashed by Krishna, apply that mixture on their foreheads. Then they have an oil bath using sandalwood paste.

In Maharashtra also, traditional early baths with oil and "Uptan" (paste) of gram flour and fragrant powders are a `must'. Afterward steamed vermicelli with milk and sugar or puffed rice with curd is served