Dhanteras is a popular festival which is celebrated mostly in the north and some eastern part of India. Also called Dhanatrayodashi, it’s celebrated on the thirteen day of the Hindu calendar month of Kartik or October-November. Each year, it falls just two days before Diwali and in fact, it sets the tone for all-round celebrations and shopping for the big day.
Dhanteras is made up of two words- Dhan (wealth) and Teras (thirteen) - and as the name suggests, it has certain inherent rituals. On this day, buying some new product or precious metals is considered auspicious. People buy metals and its myriad products as well as vehicles as a sign of good luck. For being the Diwali eve, it brings along an added sense of joy and all-round celebrations for people.
On the Dhanteras day, people take up early-morning bathe, keep a fast and break it after the sunset. Buying new kitchen utensils remains the most-prominent ritual of this festival. Different kinds of kitchen utensils are bought to keep on the place of worship to seek wealth and prosperity from Laxmi (goddess of wealth). Many consider it a ‘festival of wealth’ and hence, people deliberately host myriad wealth-related activities on this specific day.
Inaugurations are delayed and expensive possessions are arranged to fall on this auspicious day. From setting up a business to buying a new house to owning a car to possessing the jewellery, people wait for the Dhanteras day to realize all goals. For shoppers and marketers, the festival remains nothing short of bliss as their sales go many notches up, prompting them to launch discounts and various attractive marketing plans.
There are two legends associated with the celebration of Dhanteras, and people believe both to mark the occasion. The first legend relates to the Dhanvantari, God’s physician, who is believed to have come out with a pot of nectar during the famous ‘churning of the sea’ (the samudra manthan). The second legend is related to the son of King Hima, who was bravely saved by his wife from the clutches of Yam, the god of Death.
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