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What is Dhanteras and why is it celebrated?

Festival Date

Dhanteras indicates the beginning of Diwali celebrations. It is on this day on which people purchase precious metals with a belief that they will bring prosperity. Dhanteras is also known as Dhantryaodashi or Dhanwantri Triodasi.

What does 'Dhanteras' mean?

According to the lunar calendar, Dhanteras falls on the thirteenth day of the Ashwin (October/November) month. The word Dhanteras comes from the Sanskrit word Dhan which means wealth and Teras which means thirteen.

What is the significance of Dhanteras?

This day is devoted to worship Goddess Lakshmi, who is the Goddess of wealth according to Hindu mythology. People purchase gold, silver and other utensils on this day to welcome prosperity in their houses. They also purchase crackers, candles, diyas, lamps and most importantly clay idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi to perform 'Lakshmi Pooja'. A girl born on this auspicious day is said to be very lucky, as it indicates the arrival of goddess Lakshmi into the house.

How is Dhanteras celebrated?

Dhanteras is celebrated two days before Diwali. It is considered as a very auspicious occasion to buy or to gift gold and silver articles. People decorate their houses with colourful lights and lanterns, beautiful Rangolis and also light diyas outside their houses. Children burst a variety of crackers on this day.

Today, exchange of Dhanteras gifts is extremely popular. Special gifts for Dhanteras flood the markets. Dhanteras festival is ideal time for setting up businesses, commencing new projects, celebrating housewarming, holding marriages, buying cars and investing in jewellery, as it is considered an auspicious day. Besides Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains also celebrate this festival on a large scale.

Why is Dhanteras celebrated?

Dhanteras is mainly celebrated to get the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. Everyone tries to make Goddess Lakshmi happy and for the same reason they also perform 'Lakshmi Pooja'. People believe that it is very important for everyone to perform all the rituals correctly; else Goddess Lakshmi wouldn't be coming to their respective houses and indeed there would not be any prosperity. The Hindu community celebrates Dhanteras festival very religiously.

What is the story behind celebration of Dhanteras?

While the preparations of Diwali celebrations are on their full swing, Dhanteras adds on a new dimension to it. There is a very interesting story that backs this Hindu festival. The son of King Hema was intended to die on the fourth day of his marriage. The king and queen wanted their son to enjoy all goodness of life and therefore they got him married. The fourth day of his marriage was the disgraceful day.

On the fourth day, his wife did not let him sleep and placed lots of gold & silver coins around him and the gate was blocked with these coins. Moreover big lamps were lightened all around the palace. She kept telling her husband various stories and sung songs so as to keep him awakened. As Yama, the God of death came, in the guise of a serpent; he could not enter the room of the Prince as his eyes were stupefied by the flash of gold and silver. Leaving the coins aside, he then got lost in the songs sung by the princess and the way the entire palace was decorated. The next morning Yama had to turn back to his world. In this way the girl saved her husband's life.

Because of the above told story, this day is also called 'Yamadeepdaan'. Lamps are kept burning throughout the night in the honor of Yama. Another amazing legendary story associated with Dhanteras is that of 'Samudra Manthan'. When Lord Indra along with a team of demons churned the sea to nullify the curse of Sage Durvasa, Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the sea with 'Necter' (Amrit).

Dhanteras is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm which makes bonds of love and relationships stronger. Along with the Lakshmi Pooja, children add fun to the day by bursting colourful crackers and rockets. Dhanteras is a very fortunate day and people start all the new activities on this day. People love celebrating Diwali & Dhanteras and Dhanteras creates a cheerful and positive atmosphere all over the country.

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