The Second Day is called Narak-Chaturdashi or more popularly as Chhoti Diwali which falls on the 14th day of the month of Kartik. This festival is observed to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon king, Narkasur. This day is also celebrated as the birthday of Hanumanji or Hanuman jayanti. Also, on this day Hanumanji reached Ayodhya to deliver the long-awaited message of Lord Rama's return. Just like diwali people light diyas on chhoti diwali to fill their homes with light, worship Goddess Laxmi and offer prayers to her and they also burst firecrackers but all these things are not as grand as they are on the day of main diwali .
The Story of Narakasur:
The story goes that the demon king Narakasur ruler of Pragjyotishpur (Province to the South of Nepal) after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother of Goddess and imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of the gods and saints in his harem. On the day previous to Narakchaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned damsels and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. His destruction made all happy and the women in particular saw his end as a moral victory for them.
The Story of King Bali:
With his valour Bali conquered every bit of space, thus he became the most powerful king on earth. In his kingdom, justice was mere word, truth had no place and happiness was a dream. His form of charity was an occasion for pomp and show and those who went to seek Alms from the king Bali suffered the indignity of insults and humiliation. In fact, he felt that the vast wealth will remain and the pittance he handed out now and again could not affect even an iota of his asset. His false beliefs, arrogance and misrule ended when the Lord disguised as beggar and humble proved to Bali that his concepts were totally wrong and even his vast wealth could disappear in seconds. King Bali asked the dwarf beggar to ask for anything in his kingdom and with three steps even his crown vanished. With his first step Lord Vishnu covered the entire heaven and with the second step the earth and asked Bali where to keep his third step. Bali offered his head and became spiritually enlightened. Thus, this festival has a far deeper significance than a mere exhibition of gaiety and splendor. The Narak chaturdashi day therefore is dedicated to lights and prayers heralding a future full of joy and the elimination of greed.
In South-India, people wake up before sunrise prepare a paste by mixing Kumkum in oil, which is called 'Ubtan', on their foreheads and then take bath. The breaking of the fruit represents the head of the demon King, Narakasur and the kumkum-oil paste symbolizes the blood that Lord Krishna smeared His forehead with.
In Maharashtra also, traditional early baths with oil and "Uptan" (paste) of gram flour and fragrant powders are a must. All through the ritual of baths, deafening sounds of crackers and fireworks are there in order that the children enjoy bathing. Afterward steamed vermicelli with milk and sugar or puffed rice with curd is served.
"In Bengal and east India, this day is called Kali Chaudas and celebrated as the birthday of Ma Kali. In Bengal Kali Ma's murti's are set up in pandals and Kali puja is performed on this day." (contributed by R G Thakore).