Dhanteras – The Auspicious Prelude to Diwali

About Dhanteras

Dhanteras heralds the five day of the Diwali Festival celebrations. Observed one day before Diwali, it ushers positive vibes all around and prosperity. The meaning of Dhanteras is puja of wealth at 13th day (in the Krishna paksha, dark fortnight) of the month of Ashvin according to the Hindu lunar calendar. Dhanteras is an auspicious day for shopping among the Hindus, particularly for gold and silver articles and new utensils.

When is Dhanteras 2017?

Dhanteras in 2017 is to be celebrated on 17th of October (Tuesday).

The Preparations

Houses, offices and business premises are cleaned, renovated and decorated. Walkways to home and offices are decorated with Rangoli – creative colorful floor design using colored powders or flowers. People decorate their homes and workplaces. It sets the festive tone for the following days of larger Diwali celebrations.

Dhanteras Gaining Popularity

It was the originally business community, usually in North and West India, those who celebrated Dhanteras for their business to flourish. However, with time this festivals has gained popularity among the rest of the population across India. People identify Dhanteras as the day when good times begin.

Traditions – Association of precious metals

It is considered auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or new silver utensils on Dhanteras. Most Hindus believed it to be sign of good luck to attain new wealth or some form of precious metals on this day. Hence, people invest in precious metals on this day with a belief that they will bring prosperity.

Dhanteras shopping

Legends of Dhanteras

There are different myth and legend that tell us why Dhanteras is celebrated during Diwali. One such story is how King Hima’s 16 year old son was doomed to die on his fourth day of marriage – on Dhanteras – by snake bite. To save the prince, his young wife cleverly laid out all her ornaments, pots of gold and silver coins at the entrance of their bedroom and lit lamps all over the place. She told stories and sang songs to keep her husband from falling on the fateful night. When Yama – God of Death – came disguised as a snake, he was blinded by all the glitters and couldn’t enter the chamber. He sat enchanted listening to the music and the stories. In the morning, he slithered away sparing the prince’s life.

The Celebrations

Rituals with Evening Puja

Dhanteras is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Prayers and worships are offered to Goddess of wealth Laksmi in the evening of Dhanteras to get prosperous life and well being. In the evening, Diyas or clay lamps are lit to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into the house as well as to drive away shadows of evil and negative spirits. Hindu God Kuber, the treasurer of wealth and bestower of riches, is also worshiped along with Goddess Lakshmi.

 

Dhanteras is more than just wealth gain

Dhanteras is not about material prosperity, but it is also about gaining good health, spiritual abundance and human bonding among people. Dhanteras is a great time for family get-together and reunion to strengthen family bonds.

Come join in the festivities of one of India‘s biggest and most loved festival in Diwali.

To end on a festive note, here’s wishing all of you a Happy Dhanteras!

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