Why do people take oil bath on Diwali and Naraka Chaturdashi?

There is a tradition of taking oil bath during Naraka Chaturdashi and Diwali. This ritual is known as Neer Thumba Habba in Karnataka and Abhyanga Snan in Maharashtra. In other regions too there is a tradition of taking oil bath during Diwali. Symbolically oil bath on Narak Chaturdasi and Deepavali suggest new beginning – removing all the ego, anger, fights, pride and jealousy of the previous year and a fresh new beginning. A physical cleansing of the body and a spiritual cleansing of the mind with new hope.

Legend has it that Lord Krishna after witnessing Sathyabhama killing Demon Narakasura took an oil bath to get rid of the blood spattered on his body.

Another popular belief is that ritual cleansing of the body is to remove all dirt, evil and inauspicious things before the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi on the next day. The oil bath thus has a symbolic meaning – a new beginning after washing away all dirt.

It is said that those who perform the oil bath on Naraka Chaturdashi and Diwali will be blessed with prosperity, progeny and wealth.

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