Dhanteras is the celebrated in India and it is the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival. In Sanskrit this festival is known as “Dhanatrayodashi” or “Dhanvantari Trayodashi“. It is celebrated on the thirteenth day of Krishna paksha in the Hindu calendar month of Karthik.
On this day, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped to provide prosperity and well-being. On the auspicious day of Dhanteras, peoples are supposed to buy any new utensil or gold or silver. It is said that if one buys any of these on the day of Dhanteras then Goddess Lakshmi showers them with more of these things. The Hindu God of wealth, Kuber is also worshipped on the day of Dhanteras. It is a custom among many communities to worship Lakshmi and Kuber together to double the benefits of prayers.
Legends: There are two legends are famous for Dhanteras.
An interesting story is famous about the 16 year old son of King Hima. His horoscope predicted his death by snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that particular day, his newly-wed wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid out all her ornaments jewellery, coins in heaps at the entrance of the door of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps all over the palace. Then she started narrating stories to her husband to prevent him from falling asleep. When Yama, the God of death came in the guise of a serpent, his eyes were blinded by the shine of the coins and jewellery. Yama could not enter the chamber of the prince. He climbed the heap of the jewellery and sat there the entire night, listening to the stories and songs. In the morning, Yama went away. Thus the prince was saved from the clutches of death. Hence, the day came to be celebrated as Dhanteras.
The second story is related to the churning of ocean. It is believed that during the churning of the ocean, the divine doctor Dhanvantari emerged from the ocean with the elixir on Dhanteras.
Celebration: Dhanteras is celebrated with great enthusiasm. “Lakshmi Puja” is performed in the evenings. Bhajans, devotional songs in praise of Goddess Laxmi, are sung. On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck.
Dhanteras is an extremely significant day for the business community. New account books are bought on this day and placed before Goddess Lakshmi to get her blessings. People start new business on Dhanteras because it is believed that business started on this day will be very profitable