Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi, is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals in India. It falls on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight ( Krishna Paksha) of the Hindu month of Kartik, which typically occurs in October or November. Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival and is associated with the worship of wealth and prosperity. In this blog, we’ll explore the significance and traditions of Dhanteras.
Significance of Dhanteras / Why Dhanteras is Celebrated / How Dhanteras is Celebrated / Story of Dhanteras
The word “Dhanteras” is a combination of two words: “Dhan,” which means wealth, and “Teras,” which means the thirteenth day. This festival holds immense significance and is celebrated with great enthusiasm across India for various reasons:
Worship of Goddess Lakshmi: Dhanteras is dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the cosmic ocean, bringing prosperity and wealth into the world. As a result, people pray to her to seek her blessings for a prosperous and happy life.
Protection Against Yama: Another popular legend associated with Dhanteras involves the story of King Hima’s son. According to the tale, his wife cleverly prevented him from facing death by lighting lamps, singing songs, and keeping him awake the entire night. Yama, the god of death, was unable to claim the young prince, and he eventually left. In commemoration of this event, Dhanteras is observed by lighting lamps and staying awake during the night.
Traditions and Customs / Traditions of Dhanteras
Dhanteras is marked by several customs and traditions, each of which carries a special significance:
Buying Gold and Silver: It is a common practice to buy gold, silver, or utensils on Dhanteras. It is believed that purchasing these items on this auspicious day brings good fortune and wealth.
Cleaning and Decorating Homes: People thoroughly clean and decorate their homes in preparation for Dhanteras. Rangoli, colourful patterns made with rice flour, and oil lamps are used to adorn the entrance to invite positive energy.
Lighting Lamps: As part of the celebration, earthen lamps, or diyas, are lightned to symbolize the victory of light over darkness and to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into homes.
Praying to Lord Dhanvantari: In some regions, people offer prayers to Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda and healing. They seek his blessings for good health and well-being.
Temples and Community Gatherings: Devotees often visit temples dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, where special prayers and pujas are performed. In many places, community gatherings and cultural events are organized to celebrate Dhanteras.
Dhanteras is a festival that symbolizes the pursuit of wealth, prosperity, and well-being. It is an occasion to express gratitude for the blessings of abundance and to seek the divine’s blessings for a bright future. The customs and traditions associated with Dhanteras reflect the rich cultural diversity and religious beliefs of India, making it a time of unity and celebration.
As you celebrate Dhanteras, whether through the purchase of precious metals, lighting lamps, or offering prayers, remember that the true essence of the festival lies in acknowledging and appreciating the wealth and prosperity in your life, and in sharing the joy and abundance with family and friends. May Dhanteras bring you prosperity, good health, and the light of happiness in your life.