Dhanteras

  • Date: Monday, 05 November 2018
  • Event: Dhanteras

 

विक्रम सम्वत् 2075 कार्तिक कृष्ण त्रयोदशी                                                                              5th November 2018

 

Dhanteras

Dhanteras 05th November 2018. The festival of Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day long Diwali celebrations all over India. The word Dhanteras is constituent of the terms 'dhan' which means wealth and 'teras' which means thirteenth, hence it is a festival observed on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha, of the Hindu month of Kartik (October- November), which falls just two days before Diwali, wherein people oblate to be blessed with prosperity and good health. Dhanteras is also known as 'Dhantrayodashi' and 'Dhanvantari Trayodashi'. 

Story of Dhanterass

According to ancient legends, the celebration of Dhanteras is attributed to the story of the sixteen year old son of king Hima. Predictions were made that he would die of a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. 

Four days hence his marriage, his newly wedded wife, being aware of this prediction laid out all her ornaments along with coins made of precious metals of gold and silver in a heap at the entrance of her husband's sleeping chamber and furbished the whole place with lamps.

Then, all night long she narrated stories and sang songs to keep her husband from falling asleep. It is believed, that when Yama, the God of death, arrived under the guise of a snake, he found himself unable to enter the prince's chamber as he was dazzled and blinded by the light of the lamps and jewellery, and so he climbed the heap of ornaments and coins and listened to the melodious songs of the wife.

In the morning, he quietly went away sparing the life of the prince. In this manner, the young wife saved her husband from the clasp of death itself. Hence, this day also came to be known as 'Yamadeepdaan'.

Another popular legend also associates itself with this festival. It believes in the appearance of Dhanvantari (physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu), with a jar of elixir on the day of Dhanteras during the cosmic battle fought between the gods and demons, who had churned the ocean for Amrita or nectar.

Dhanteras Celebration

The festival of Dhanteras is celebrated with great zeal and joy. On this festival, people worship the Goddess of wealth and God of death, Lord Yama for receiving blessings in the form of good health and prosperity. People decorate their houses and offices. 

Colorful, traditional rangolis adorn the entrance of all such premises; this is done to welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity into our homes and work places. Small footprints are drawn out with rice flour and vermilion powder to indicate the long-awaited arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.

Buying new utensils or coins made of precious metals such as gold or silver on Dhanteras has become very popular as it is considered auspicious and considered to bring good luck.

Dhanteras Puja

Dhanteras is marked with the performance of 'Lakshmi Puja' in the evenings. People sing devotional songs in praise of goddess Lakshmi. They light up tiny diyas to drive all evil spirits away. On the night of Dhanteras, people light the lamps for entire length of the night. Traditional sweets are cooked and offered to the goddess.

Dhanteras is celebrated differently, in different parts of India. This is a very important festival for the mercantile community of western India. In the state of Maharashtra, people follow the custom of lightly pounding dry coriander seeds with jaggery and offering it as 'Naivedya'. In rural areas, farmers adorn and worship their cattle, as they act as their main source of income. In south India, people consider cows as incarnations of goddess Lakshmi, and hence treat them with them particular reverence.

 

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