Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival, which is widely celebrated in India and by Indians around the world. This auspicious day falls on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin. Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi or Dhanvantari Trayodashi, signifies the worship of Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda. This day is particularly significant for people who follow the Hindu faith as it is believed to bring prosperity and well-being into one’s life.

The Significance of Dhanteras

Dhanteras holds immense significance in Hindu culture and traditions. The word “Dhan” means wealth, and “Teras” refers to the thirteenth day. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the churning of the cosmic ocean along with Lord Kubera, the God of wealth. Therefore, it is customary to purchase new utensils, jewelry, or other valuable items on Dhanteras as a way to invite blessings of prosperity and good fortune into the household.

Rituals and Customs

On the day of Dhanteras, it is customary for people to clean their homes and decorate them with rangoli designs and flower petals. In the evening, diyas (oil lamps) are lit to welcome Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera. People also perform a puja (prayer ceremony) with incense sticks, flowers, and sweets, seeking blessings for wealth and prosperity. Some may even visit temples to offer prayers.

One of the common rituals of Dhanteras is to purchase gold, silver, or utensils as it is believed to bring good luck. People also buy new clothes, kitchenware, or other items as a way of celebrating the festive spirit. It is also considered auspicious to invest in stocks or start new business ventures on this day.

Festive Foods

No Indian festival is complete without delicious food, and Dhanteras is no exception. People prepare a variety of sweets and savories to share with their loved ones. Some popular dishes prepared during Dhanteras include suji halwa, rice kheer, chana dal, and poori. These mouth-watering treats are shared among family members and friends to spread joy and happiness.

Celebrations Across India

In different parts of India, Dhanteras is celebrated with unique customs and traditions. In the northern states, people perform Dhanvantari puja to seek blessings for good health and well-being. In Maharashtra, families exchange bay leaves (tej patta) as a symbol of good luck. In the southern states, lamps are lit with sesame oil to ward off evil spirits.

Dhanteras in Modern Times

While the essence of Dhanteras remains rooted in tradition and rituals, modern practices have evolved to include online shopping and gifting options. Many people prefer to buy gold or silver coins, utensils, or jewelry online to mark the occasion. E-commerce platforms offer discounts and special deals during the festive season, making it easier for people to purchase gifts for their loved ones.

Sustainable Celebrations

With increasing awareness about environmental conservation, there is a growing trend towards celebrating festivals in an eco-friendly manner. People are opting for clay diyas instead of plastic ones, using natural colors for rangoli designs, and choosing local and organic products for puja offerings. The idea is to celebrate Dhanteras while being mindful of the impact on the environment.

FAQs About Dhanteras

  1. What is the best time to perform Dhanteras puja?
  2. The ideal time to perform Dhanteras puja is during the evening after sunset. Consult a Hindu calendar or a priest for the exact auspicious timings in your region.

  3. What are the traditional items to buy on Dhanteras?

  4. Traditional items to buy on Dhanteras include gold or silver coins, utensils, jewellery, new clothes, and kitchenware.

  5. Can I perform the Dhanteras puja at home?

  6. Yes, you can perform the Dhanteras puja at home with the help of a priest or by following the rituals mentioned in religious texts.

  7. What is the significance of lighting lamps on Dhanteras?

  8. Lighting lamps on Dhanteras is believed to ward off evil forces and invite prosperity and happiness into the household.

  9. Is it necessary to buy new items on Dhanteras?

  10. While buying new items on Dhanteras is a popular tradition, the essence of the festival lies in seeking blessings for prosperity and well-being.

  11. How can I make my Dhanteras celebrations eco-friendly?

  12. To make your Dhanteras celebrations eco-friendly, opt for natural decorations, use clay diyas, and avoid plastic or other non-biodegradable items.

Dhanteras is a time for families to come together, celebrate prosperity, and seek blessings for a bright and prosperous future. By honoring traditions while embracing modern practices, this festive day continues to hold a special place in the hearts of millions of people across the world. May this Dhanteras bring abundance and joy to all!