Significance, date of Bhoot Chaturdashi 2019: The Indian Halloween
New Delhi, Oct 22: Bhoot Chaturdashi or Narak Chaturdashi is on October 27. Every year, it is observed on the 14th day of Krishna Paksha (waning phase of moon) in the Hindu month of Kartik. This festival is celebrated one day prior to Diwali, that is why it is also known as Chhoti Diwali. It is all about warding off evil spirits.
Both, Bhoot Chaturdashi and Halloween deal with the dark and eerie beliefs of a ghost world. It is believed on Halloween, the 'gateway' between the dead and the living open, allowing the dead to crawl your streets. Similarly, on Bhoot Chaturdashi, it is believed that the last 14 forefathers of a family visit their living relatives on this night, thus, 14 earthen lamps are lightened up to ward off evil spirits as well as prevent them from entering the house.
Some also believe that 'Chamunda' (a fearsome form of Kali) along with fourteen other ghostly forms ward off the evil spirits from the house as fourteen earthen-lamps are lit at different entrances and dark corners of the rooms.
Bhoot Chaturdashi is also known as Narak Chaturdashi in some places it is celebrated by performing puja of the Goddess Kali. It is also considered that the day is getting celebrated as Hindu God Lord Krishna got victory over the demon Narakasura.
In Bengal, Bhoot Chaturdashi is a tradition followed on the night of Kali puja. This is the night before the full moon and the night of Kali Puja. On this night the evil power is believed to be stronger. To avoid or overcome the evil power the Bhoot Chaturdashi ritual is practised.
The night before Kali Puja, Bengalis light 14 lamps or diyas at home. Some believe the 14 lamps ward off evil spirits. Many Bengalis have a tradition to cook and eat fourteen different kinds of leafy vegetables (Choddo Shaak) on this day cooked together.
In rural Bengal, it is also believed that tantriks were known to kidnap children the night before Kali Pujo and sacrifice them the next day to gain dark magic powers.
Therefore, Bhoot Chaturdashi is believed to be a custom to keep the children safe by keeping them busy at home with leafy green food and other rituals.
Whether Bhoot Chaturdashi or Halloween people enjoy both the festivals with respective rituals.
Happy Bhoot Chaturdashi and Halloween!