Dhanteras, also called Dhantrayodashi, marks the start of the five-day-long Diwali festivities. The word ‘Dhan’ means wealth, and ‘Teras’ implies the 13th, as the festival is observed during the 13th lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.
According to the Hindu scriptures, it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber emerged with other treasures from the ocean of milk during the churning of the sea on the day of Dhantrayodashi. Dhanteras is the time when Goddess Lakshmi is said to visit devotees’ homes and fulfil their wishes.
It is believed that on this day, the Lakshmi puja performed during ‘Sthir Lagan’ will allow Goddess to stay in your home. On Dhanteras, there is a Hindu tradition of lightning Yamadeepam. People offer diva to Yama, the Lord of Death, outside the house. It is believed that lightning, this diva removes all the evil forces and prevents the family’s untimely death.
On Dhanteras, homes that have not yet been cleaned in preparation for Diwali are thoroughly cleansed. The main entrance is decorated with colourful lanterns, holiday lights and traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess Laxmi. Small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the house to indicate her long-awaited arrival. On the night of Dhanteras, divas are ritually kept burning all through the night in honour of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari. It is believed that new ‘Dhan” (wealth) or some items made of metal brings good fortune, so people buy new things, especially gold and silver articles and new utensils, which is a sign of good luck and fortune.
In some parts of India, Dhanteras is also celebrated as ‘Dhanvantri Jayanti’, the birth anniversary of ‘Dhanwantari’, the God of Ayurveda. As a matter of interest, the Ministry of AYUSH observes Dhanteras as “National Ayurveda Day”.
This day is a celebration aimed at increasing wealth and prosperity. Dhanteras engages themes of cleansing, renewal, and securing auspiciousness as embodied by Lakshmi.
Evergreen Publications wish you a very Happy and Prosperous Dhanteras!