Kali Chaudas and Its Significance

Kali Chaudas and Its Significance

An Introduction1

Naraka Chaturdashi, more commonly known as Kali Chaudas, is a Hindu festival that falls on Friday, November 13 this year. It is a Hindu festival that falls during the Hindu month Kartik and is the second day of the five-day long festival of Diwali.

The word Kali means darkness or black, and Chaudas means the fourteenth. For some parts of India, Kali Chaudas is the worship of Shakti or Mahakali, as it is believed that on this day Kali assassinated the demon Narakasura. This is where the name Naraka Chaturdashi came from.


This festival is celebrated around India in various ways, but the significance behind it falls under one great story. Legend has it that there was a demon named Narakasur who had kept sixteen thousand girls hostage. Lord Krishna battled the demon Narakasur and won the fight, freeing every single one of those girls. During his last breath, Narakasura asked Bhudevi (Satyabhama), got her blessings and wished for a boon. These girls were then extremely embarrassed and were afraid that society would not accept them anymore, so Lord Krishna and his wife came up with a plan. Lord Krishna and his wife decided that Lord Krishna would marry each and every single one of these sixteen thousand girls and the world would know them as his wives.


On Kali Chaudas, a puja is performed using sandalwood, flowers, oil and coconuts that are offered to the God Lord Hanuman. It is common for people to recite the prayer “Hanuman Chalisa” on this day. Prasada is also offered during this festival, with its contents being sesame seed, jaggery and poha (also known as rice flakes), with sugar and ghee.  Another ritual performed on Kali Chaudas is the washing of the head and the application of Kajal in eyes. This is believed to keep away the evil eye.

On the day of Kali Chaudas, Hindus wake up a lot earlier than they usually would. Hindu men rub their bodies in oils and then bathe, after which they wear cleaned or new clothing. After bathing, a large meal (typically breakfast) is shared with extended family and friends. During the evening, fireworks are set off in celebration and sweet dishes are served.

Further Readings

For more information on Kali Chaudas and the festival of Diwali, have a read at the Wikipedia pages, where the information from this blog post is borrowed from.


  1. “Naraka Chaturdashi.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Nov. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naraka_Chaturdashi.
  2. Desk, India Today Web. “Naraka Chaturdashi 2020: Date, Time and Significance.” India Today, 12 Nov. 2020, www.indiatoday.in/information/story/naraka-chaturdashi-2020-date-time-and-significance-1740539-2020-11-12.
  3. “Naraka Chaturdashi 2020 Date and Significance: All You Need to Know.” Latest News India: Breaking News Headlines Today, Business, Cricket, Videos, Photos, www.timesnownews.com/spiritual/religion/article/naraka-chaturdashi-2020-date-and-significance-all-you-need-to-know/677891.