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Crushing of Ash Gourd or Safed Bhopla During Diwali

A day before Diwali, on Narak Chaturdashi day there is a ritual of crushing Ash Gourd or red pumpkin (known as Petha in Hindi, Safed Bhopla or Bhopada in Marathi).

Symbolically crushing of the pumpkin is killing of demon Narakasura, who represents filth. Sri Krishna had got rid of Narakasura. Deepavali in South India celebrates the victory of Sri Krishna over Narakasura.

It symbolically helps in keeping out all kinds of negative forces. Positive energy is invited for the next year whole year.


The ash gourd is crushed before the ritual bath performed on Naraka Chaturdashi.

Ash gourd is today widely used in Hindu religion. It is used instead of animal sacrifice. It is also hung at home to keep out negative forces.