Dhanteras, known as Dhantrayodashi, is a festival that celebrates wealth and prosperity. It marks the beginning of the Diwali festival. The term Dhanteras originates from two words, “Dhana” and “Teras.” Dhana means wealth or money, and Teras means thirteen. Dhanteras is related to the 13th lunar day of the Krishna Paksha in the Hindu calendar. This year, the festival falls on the 10th of November 2023. According to traditions, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber are worshipped during this festival. The Muhurat starts at 06:19 PM and ends at 08:23 PM.
History Of Dhanteras
Each festival has different legends or tales associated with it, and below are legends related to Dhanteras:
The Story Of Dhanvantri
Lord Dhanvantri is known as the Father of Ayurveda. He is the physician of the Devas and the god of health and medicine. He first appeared during the great Samundra Manthan carrying the elixir of life. All the gods distributed the elixir of life among themselves, given by Lord Dhanvantri.
The Story Of Goddess Lakshmi
According to legends, Goddess Lakshmi joined Lord Vishnu on one of his visits to Earth. He agreed but put a condition to not look towards the South. But Goddess Lakshmi looked towards the South. Annoyed by this, Lord Vishnu asked Goddess Lakshmi to serve a poor farmer for 12 years. The poor farmer became wealthy overnight when Lord Vishnu returned after 12 years to take back Goddess Lakshmi, but the farmer refused to send her away.
When the farmer refused, Goddess Lakshmi came into her real avatar and told him she could not stay on Earth and had to return to heaven. She promised the farmer to visit him every year during the night of Trayodashi before Diwali. The farmer prepared every year to welcome the Goddess during the night of Trayodashi before Diwali.
The Story Of Yama
There was a young king named Hima, whose horoscope predicted his death from snakebite on the fourth night of his marriage. To save him, his wife prevented him from sleeping that night. She adorned their room with a dazzling display of gold and kept numerous diyas burning. She sang songs and told stories at night to keep her husband awake. When Yamraj appeared, he was blinded by the light from the gold and got mesmerised by the singing, so he sat atop the pile of coins, and the next day, as dawn appeared, he had no choice but to leave. It saved the life of King Hima, and this day is known as “Yamadeepdaan.” People continue to light lamps throughout the night to ward off darkness and evil on this day.
Celebrations of Dhanteras Across India
People clean their houses and offices and draw beautiful rangoli patterns in front of their houses. In the evening, people pray and seek blessings from Goddess Lakshmi. People consider buying new utensils, gold, or silver items as auspicious. Traditional Gujarati snacks are prepared and exchanged with friends and family.
Bengalis decorate their homes and offices with rangolis and draw footprints of Goddess Lakshmi in front of their houses. In the evening, people burn lamps, candles, and diyas in front of their houses and offices. Jewellery and gift shops offer discounts to people during the time of Dhanteras. People purchase the idols of Ganesh and Lakshmi on the occasion of Dhanteras. Placing the idols of Ganesh and Lakshmi increases wealth, success, and growth.
People celebrate Dhanteras the same all across India, with a few differences here and there. The main reason people celebrate this festival is to worship Goddess Lakshmi and seek blessings from her. It is crucial to keep your house clean and remove cobwebs all around the house.
In conclusion, Dhanteras serves as the auspicious prelude to the vibrant Diwali festival. During this time, people buy new silver and gold ornaments, as well as essential utensils. They embellish their homes with intricate rangoli designs, and through cleansing and decluttering, they embrace the arrival of prosperity and blessings.