Roop Chaturdashi – Rup Chaudash

Roop Chaturdashi, also known as Rup Chaudash, is observed a day before Diwali in North India. The day is also observed as Narak Chaurdasi and Kali Chaudash. In 2014, the date of Roop Chaturdashi is October 22. The day is observed differently in different regions. For some communities, it is the day for the traditional oil bath and importance is given to the maintenance of the body and therefore the day is also known as Soundarya Siddhi Divas. Yamraj, the god of death, and Chitragupt is also worshipped on Roop Chaturdashi day.

After the sighting the moon on Roop Chaturdashi day, people take bath after applying oil and other traditional health products. Special powder of gram flour (Uptan) and other herbs are applied on the body.

Clean dress is worn after the Roop Chaturdashi day bath and special prayers and pujas dedicated to Lord Yama is performed. People pray for the removal of the fear of narak (hell). It is believed that prayers on the day to Yamraj will rescue from perpetual hell.

Diyas (Lamps) are lit and placed during the twilight period (Pradosham) on the day in front of the house and on doorways. This is also a sort of prayer to Lord Yama, asking him for forgiveness of sins committed.