Choti Diwali, also known as Naraka Chaturdashi or Kali Chaudas, is the day before Diwali, and it has its own set of customs and traditions. While it may not have as many mandatory rituals as Diwali itself, there are a few customary things to do on Choti Diwali:
- Abhyang Snan: On Choti Diwali morning, taking an oil bath or abhyang snan is a traditional practice to purify the body and mind. Applying oil and then bathing is believed to remove impurities and bring good luck.
- Ritualistic Cleansing: Cleaning the house and getting rid of clutter is a common practice to prepare for Diwali. This cleansing signifies the removal of negative energies.
- Offering Prayers: Some people perform prayers and rituals on Choti Diwali to seek blessings and protection from evil forces.
- Lighting Lamps: Lighting oil lamps or diyas in the evening is a symbol of driving away darkness and negativity. This is a common practice on Choti Diwali.
- Decorations: Decorating the entrance of the house with rangoli and floral decorations is another way to welcome positivity and guests during the festive season.
- Preparation: Many households start preparing special Diwali sweets and snacks on Choti Diwali, so they are ready for the main Diwali day.
While Choti Diwali may not have as many mandatory rituals as Diwali, it serves as a day of preparation and cleansing for the grand celebration that follows. The specific customs can vary among different regions and communities.