The 14th phase of the dark moon, is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdasi in commemoration of the slaying of Narakasura who was causing menace to the people, by Krishna and His wife Satyabhama. In South India, Deepavali is celebrated as Naraka Chathurdasi. Naraka was an Asura who lived about 5100 years ago. Narakasura ruled from his kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. His rule was a misery to the people of his land. Krishna and his wife Satyabhama slayed Narakasura and freed people from his tyranny. This event of vanquishing Narakasura is celebrated as Naraka Chathurdasi.
Chaturdasi is the 14th phase of the moon and is the night before Karthika Amavasya, the day of Deepavali. It is for this reason that Deepavali is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil. The puja is performed with oil, flowers, and sandalwood. Coconuts are also offered to Hanuman and Prasad of sesame seed, jaggery and rice flakes (poha) with ghee and sugar.
The second day of Diwali is known as Kali Choudas in Gujarat, Rajasthan & few part of Maharashtra. The rituals of Kali Choudas is strongly suggestive of the origin of Diwali as a harvest festival. On this day delicacies are prepared from pounded semi-cooked rice (called Poha or Pova). This rice is taken from the fresh harvest available at that time. This custom is prevalent both in rural and urban areas especially in Western India.
Some families also offer food to their forefathers on this day. On this day Hindus get up earlier than usual. The men rub their bodies in perfumed oils before bathing. House are lit with oil lamps during the evening.
In Goa, 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 and then 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 Narakasura, symbolising evil and removal of ignorance. Different varieties of Poha and sweets are made and eaten with family and friends.