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Diwali Day 2 – Kali Chaudas

Today is Kali Chaudas and I’ve always thought of it a bit like an Indian version of Halloween. We light up the divos to ward off evil and as a reminder that good always triumphs over evil in the same way that light always triumphs over darkness. There’s a lot of superstitions that people follow today and I’ve noted down some of the ones I’ve heard off from my family…

  • Get home before it’s dark so that the evil spirits don’t catch you (a bit difficult in the UK once the clocks have gone back!)
  • String up chillies and lemon in the doorway to ward off evil
  • Throw a bundle of peppercorns in the middle of a crossroad which represent any rifts so that they can be crushed by vehicles ahead of the new year
  • Wear black eyeliner or kajal to avoid the gaze of any evil spirits (a lot of people do this everyday, not just on Kali Chaudas)
  • Wake up before sunrise and take an early bath with aromatic oils to wash away all sin
  • Some people go to crematoriums to perform special poojas worshipping the goddess Kali
  • Others buy amulets to protect them and their families from voodoo or black magic

Kali Chaudas is known in other parts of India as Naraka Chaturdashi and celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna (reincarnation of Lord Vishnu) over Narakasura, an evil Rakshasas (demon) and the freeing of the thousands of women he had kept prisoner. Some people burn paper effigies of Narakasura on bonfires and set of fireworks to celebrate.