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The 5 Days of Diwali:

Day 02: Choti Diwali - Narak Chaturdashi

Diwali is the five-day Hindu holiday known as "the Festival of Lights" and is celebrated over five days with each day signifying a particular aspect of the festival. The five days are:

Day 02: Choti Diwali - Narak Chaturdashi

Choti Diwali or Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated just a day before Diwali. This day is celebrated on a lower scale then the main Diwali but the zeal and enthusiasm of the celebration is same.

Choti Diwali is celebrated as a mark of victory of Lord Krishna over Narkasur, ruler of Pragjyotishpur, who defeated Lord Indra and imprisoned in his harem 16,000 daughters of various Gods and Saints. Lord Krishna, after killing Narkasur smeared his forehead with Narkasur's blood and returned home on this day where he was welcomed by a scented oil massage and bath in order to cleanse his body from the filth of the battle.

Since then, on Choti diwali day, people wake up early in the morning, break a bitter fruit and apply "ubtan" (kumkum-oil paste) on their body and then take bath. Paste of gram flour, fragrant powders and oil is also used in some states for applying ubtan. The breaking of fruit symbolizes crushing of Narkasur's head and the applying of ubtan represents smearing of blood by Lord Krishna on his forehead.

Diyas and candles are lighted in the evening and crackers burst (shooting fireworks) in order to mark the celebration of Choti Diwali.

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