Festivals hold a very important part in every human’s life. Our country celebrates many festivals. Every culture or religion has its own festivals.
But all these different festivals teach us many things and important lessons in life which is necessary for us to know.
Festivals give us another reason for celebration. It is because of the festivals that the families come together after a long time. They celebrate the festival and are happy.
Diwali is the festival of lights. This falls during the month of October or November as per the calendar.
This festival teaches us that the good will win over the evil. The festival shows us that light takes over darkness. The festival of Diwali is for five days.
The first day is known as Dhanteras. The second is Choti Diwali. The next day is Diwali. This is the main day of Diwali. The fourth day is Goverdhan Puja and the final day is Bhai Dooj. For some cultures, this is not for five days.
What is Dhanteras?
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the celebration of Diwali. It is the first day of Diwali. Dhanteras is taken from two words dhan and teras which means wealth and thirteenth respectively.
It is known by other names like Dhanatrayodashi and Dhanvanatari Trayodashi. It falls on the thirteenth day of the Krishna Paksh according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
This year Dhanteras is celebrated in the 5th of November . On this day, there is puja of the wealth. Lakshmi puja is performed on the festive of Dhanteras.
Goddess Lakshmi is known as the goddess of wealth. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi brings prosperity and fortune.
People buy new things, gold, silver, utensils etc. for Diwali must be bought on Dhanteras with the belief that Goddess Lakshmi is welcomed in the house.
History of Dhanteras
The story behind the reason why Dhanteras is celebrated is a very exciting one. The story is about the son of King Hima.
He was sixteen years old. It is said he was going to die on the fourth day of his marriage by a snake bit. His wife thought of a plan to save him.
He was not allowed by his wife to sleep that day. Instead she said stories to him so that he would not fall asleep. She kept lamps everywhere in the room.
These lamps were fully lit. Then she gathered few of her ornaments, a few silver and gold coins and kept them in the doorway.
At night a snake came in front of them. That snake was the God of death, Yama. Yama had taken the form of a snake.
His eyes started to dazzle due to the light of the lamp, ornaments and the coins. Due to this he could enter the room. So, he tried to climb to the heap of the ornaments and the coins.
He wanted to listen to the stories and songs which the wife was saying to the husband. Soon it was morning and the snake went away without taking the life of the prince.
The wife managed to save her husband from the death. As the lamps brought light to the room, the snake could not enter the room.
This is the reason why the Dhanteras is celebrated as lamps are kept burning the entire night as a sign of the respect to the God of Death. Thus, Dhanteras is also known as Yamadeepdaan.
The other myth of the celebration of Dhanteras is that years back the gods and demons had churned the ocean in order to get Amrita or nectar.
This led to the coming of Dhanvantari also known as physician of Gods. Dhanvantari was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There was a jar of elixir with Dhanvantari.
Celebration of Dhanteras
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the celebration of Diwali. People celebrating this festival follow many rituals and traditions.
From this first day itself, people decorate the house, shops, offices with colourful lights and diyas or lamps. The house is cleaned very properly and everything is repaired.
Some of them even pain the entire house again. The people fast on this day and break it after performing Lakshmi Puja.
They also sing hymns or bhajans and perform aarti for the goddess. A rangoli is made on the entrance of the house with beautiful flowers, colourful rice and sand.
The rangoli also includes the footprint of Goddess Lakshmi to welcome her. Traditional sweets are made for this festive day. The family comes together for the puja, celebration and for eating.
People prefer buying gold or silver items, jewellery, utensils and many other new things on Dhanteras.
They even believe to start a new business or invest on this day. It is said that if these are bought on Dhanteras Goddess Lakshmi will visit the house the entire year.
Some people even decorate the cattle of their house and worship them. It is said that they are main source for the income in the house. Some of them even worship Lord Kuber.
He is known as the treasurer of wealth. People believe that if they worship both lord Kuber and Goddess Lakshmi on this day, they will get double prosperity and fortune.
Importance of Dhanteras
Dhanteras is an important festival for the people who celebrate it. The celebration of Dhanteras brings wealth, fortune, wisdom, prosperity and good future in the lives of the people.
On the day of Dhanteras people clean everything and new things are bought.
This is done to wash always the bad things and evil from the place. On the day of Dhanteras people buy new things. They believe that these new things are the form of Goddess Lakshmi in their house.
Dhanvantari, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu came on this day. Dhanvantari is known as the physician of Gods. So, this is an important day in the field of medical science as well.
New discoveries or inventions are done on this day. Dhanteras brings light and happiness in everyone’s life just like how there was light in the life of King Hima’s son.
The most important part of Dhanteras which we should understand is that this festival is more about the wealth of peace, inner soul and prosperity. These are more important than money.