Roop Chaturdashi, also known as Rup Chaudas, is celebrated a day prior to Diwali. Rup Chaudas 2021 date is Nov 3. The day is observed uniquely in different regions. In some places, it is also known as Narak Chaturdashi and Kali Chaudas. ‘Roop’ means ‘beauty’, and ‘Chaturdashi’ means the ‘14th day of the Kartik month’ in the Hindu Calendar.
For some people, it is the day of a traditional oil bath to enhance the beauty of the body. Therefore, it also goes by the name of ‘Soundarya Siddhi Divas’ too. The day is dedicated to beautifying oneself for the auspicious occasion of Diwali.
On this day, people wake up before dawn, and after seeing the moon, they take a bath with traditional herbal products and scented oils. A special mixture of gram flour (besan) and herbs to make Uptan, which is then applied by the women for cleansing and beautifying themselves.
After the Chaturdashi bath, also known as Abhyang Snan, devotees wear new clothes and perform special pujas to gain blessings from Lord Yama. At the beginning of this day, diyas (earthen lamps) are perched and lit for evil’s destruction, and the bright light’s arrival is marked.
Tales say that Lord Yama protects the devotees from all the sufferings in hell by doing these pujas. Diyas are specially kept on the main doors of the house.
Roop Chaturdashi 2021 is one of the most important days among the five days of festivity. The legends say it all.
The Legends Behind Celebrating Rup Chaudas
Various names have been given to the festival of Rup Chaudas. Each name is associated with a unique story and history. The legends recite the tale of Satyabhama, Krishna's wife, and Narakasur, the demon king who ruled Pragjyotishpur. Lord Brahma bestowed upon the demon king the benefit of only dying in the hands of a female. Narakasura was a terrible king who despised women because of his blessing and insatiable hunger for power. Narakasura went to battle with Lord Indra, the ruler of the heavens and the god of thunder and war, in order to expand his power. After defeating Lord Indra, he stole Aditi's earring.
Aditi, also known as the heavenly Mother Goddess, was the relative of Satyabhama. Satyabhama was furious by his actions and sought permission from Lord Krishna to declare war on Narakasura. Not only did Krishna agree, but he also handed her a chariot. She fought fiercely, but Narakasura turned his attention to Krishna after a few days, causing Satyabhama to become more outraged. She gathered all of her energy on killing the demon king, eventually making him less hostile.
Krishna smeared demon blood on his forehead to announce Narakasura's assassination. When the couple arrived in the kingdom the next day, preparations were made to cleanse Krishna of the demon blood. Thus, the festival came to be known as Narak Chaturdashi. In the evening, the city is illuminated by lighting and fireworks to commemorate Narakasura's death.
How is Rup Chaudas Celebrated?
There are several rituals to be followed on Rup Chaudas. It starts by preparing Poha. The puja is done using oil, flowers, and sandalwood. Women wear Kajal and wash their hair to keep away the Kali Nazar. Men rub scented oil to their skin. New clothes are worn, and everyone dresses up. The house is decorated with diyas, lamps, and colourful rangoli.
Some even say that it is auspicious to learn tantra on this day. People pray to the Kul Devi and the deceased elders by offering food to them.On the eve of Rup Chaudas, it is considered propitious to beautify oneself on this day. Many women also apply henna. Another vital ritual to be followed is the Abhyang Snan, which is done during dusk or dawn by applying uptan. The Goddess Kali is worshipped during the muhurat and offered camphor, vermillion, betel nuts, turmeric powder, and coconut.