Today is Narkachaturdashi, a day before Diwali.Also called as Kali Chaudas, it is the day allotted to the worship of Mahakali or Shakti and is believed that on this day Kali killed the most wicked Narakasura. Some believe that Shri Krishna killed Narkasura on this day. Naraka-Chaturdashi or Kali Chaudas is day to abolish laziness and evil which create hell in our life and shine light on life.
On this day people get up earlier than usual. The men will rub their bodies in perfumed oils before bathing (Abhyanga Snan). A large breakfast is enjoyed with relatives and friends. In the evening, a mix of bright and loud fireworks are set off in an atmosphere of joyful fun and noise. Special sweet dishes are served as part of the midday meal. House are lit with oil lamps during the evening.
In Goa,on this day, paper-made effigies of Narakasura, filled with grass and firecrackers symbolising evil, are made.These effigies are burnt at around four o'clock in the morning the following day/ Firecrackers are burst, and people return home to take a scented oil bath. Lamps are lit in a line.The women of the house perform aarti of the men, gifts are exchanged, a bitter berry called kareet is crushed under the feet in token of killing Narkasur, symbolising evil and removal of ignorance. Different varieties of Poha and sweets are made and eaten with family and friends.
Narak Chaturdashi day is also known as Choti Diwali, Roop Chaturdashi and Roop Chaudas.
In Tamil Nadu, Diwali is traditionally celebrated on Naraka Chaturdasi day. While the rest of India celebrates it on the new moon night, in Tamil Nadu, Diwali is celebrated Chaturdasi tithi. People get up earlier than usual and celebrate with oil baths, pooja, and festivals. Firecrackers are usually lit on Diwali. Some Tamil homes observe "nombu" and do Lakshmi Pooja on this day