Diwali is around the corner and people are gearing up for the celebrations by shopping for new clothes and decking up their homes with spectacular decoration ideas. The five day Diwali festival starts on Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi and ends on the Bhaiya Dooj day. Most hindus begin the Chaturdhashi day — popularly known as Choti Diwali — with abhyang snan. The following day came to bealso known as Naraka Chaturdashi because, according to the Hindu mythology, Krishna and Kali killed Narakasura on this day after his endless ill treatment of women. Since it is the night before Diwali, it is also called Choti Diwali.
It is believed that people, who perform Abhyang Snan or take the holy bath on this day, can avoid going to narak or hell. Til (sesame) oil should be used for ubtan or a special face mask during the holy bath. Because of this, it is also known as Roop Chaturdashi and Roop Chaudas.
At times, abhyang snan coincides with Narak Chaturdashi and the day of Lakshmi Puja, according to the English calendar. According to Drikpanchang, whenever the Chaturdashi tithi prevails before sunrise and Amavasya tithi prevails after sunset then Narak Chaturdashi and Lakshmi Puja fall on the same day. Abhyang snan is always done during moon rise but before sunrise during the hours when the Chaturdashi tithi prevails.
Abhyang Snan Muhurta — 4:47am to 6:27am
Duration — 1 hour 40 minutes
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins — 00:08am (midnight) on October 18
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends — 00:13am (midnight) on October 19
People light diyas and celebrate the day by getting together with family and friends. Some also believe that shopping is auspicious on this day.