Dhanteras also known as Dhanwantari Triodasi or Dhantrayodashi is the festival of wealth and prosperity is celebrated two days before Diwali festival in India.
It marks the first day of the five day Diwali festival. It is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin.
On Dhanteras, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. Hence the day holds a lot more significance for the business community.
The word ‘Dhan’ literally means wealth and this festival is believed to bring in riches, good luck, light, wealth and prosperity in everybody’s life.
Lord Kubera, the God of assets and wealth is also worshiped on this day.
According to legends, on this day God Dhanvantari, an Avatar of Lord Vishu came out during Samudra manthan, the churning of the great ocean by the gods and the demons. Hence the day is celebrated as also Jayanti of God Dhanvantari who is considered to be the physician of the gods (devas), and the god of Ayurvedic medicine.
According to another legend, people in Southern India celebrate the day as “Yamadeepdaan” wherein they keep lamps burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Yam, the god of Death.
Dhanteras Celebrations :
In preparation of Diwali, people clean and decorate their houses and business premises. This all actually happens prior to the Dhanteras day.
On Dhanteras people wear new clothes and get into the festive mood of Diwali. On this day people make colourful Rangoli’s on the entrance of their homes and business premises to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity.
In the evening, people lit oil lamps and perform Dhanteras Puja to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into the house. Aartis or devotional hymns are sung praising Goddess Lakshmi and sweets and fruits are offered to her.
On this day people usually buy gold or silver jewellery or utensils as it is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck.
Some people also engage in a game of gambling.
Then at night people also burst firecrackers.
In villages, farmers adorned and worshiped cattle as they form the main source of their income for them.
In 2016, Dhanteras will be celebrated on Friday, 28th October 2016.
We wish all readers Happy Diwali 2016 !!!
Day 1 : Dhanteras (also known as Dhanatrayodashi)
Day 2 : Choti Diwali (also known as Naraka Chaturdashi / Kali Chaudas)
Day 3 : Diwali or Lakshmi Puja
Day 4 : Padwa (also Celebrated Bali Pratipada and Govardhan Puja)
Day 5 : Bhaiduj or Bhaubeej (also known as Yama Dwitiya)