Dhanteras is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of ‘Krishna Paksha’ which is also known as ‘Dhantrayodashi’.
‘Dhan’ means wealth and ‘teras’ means the thirteenth day of the moon cycle. This year, Dhanteras is being celebrated on November 12.
Celebrated two days before the festival of Diwali, it marks the first day of the festive week that includes Diwali, Choti Diwali, Bhai Dooj and Govardhan Puja. It is an auspicious occasion for Hindu families across the country and the world as well.
Significance, story behind it. Why is it celebrated?
There is an interesting story about how this day came to be celebrated. According to Hindu mythology, a young prince’s horoscope predicted he would die of a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage.
On that particular day, his wife laid out all her ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a heap at the entrance of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps all over the place. She told stories and sang songs to her husband to keep him from falling asleep.
Yama, the God of Death came in the disguise of a serpent, he was dazzled and blinded by the brilliance of the lamps and jewellery. He could not enter the prince’s chamber so he climbed on top of the heap of gold coins and sat there, listening to the stories and songs. In the morning, he silently went away and the prince was saved.
Another popular legend is when Goddess Lakshmi came out from the ocean of milk during the churning of the Sea. Hence, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the day.
Traditions in Dhanteras
According to Hindu mythology, there are a variety of customs and traditions followed by the Hindus during this festival.
People consider that buying metal is the sign of Lakshmi coming home for the whole year.
In the evening, Lakshmi Puja is carried out and people light various diyas in order to drive out the evil spirits. Distributing sweets and singing bhakti/aarti songs and mantras are also a part of the tradition.