Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dhanteras

The Northern part of India celebrates Diwali the festival of light for five days. All the five days are fun filled and exciting. Several rituals are done during this time of the year. Dhanteras is the first day of celebration. This day is also known as Dhantrayodashi or Dhanvantari Triodasi. On the Ashwin month Dhanteras and Diwali are celebrated. This day is the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight ( Krishna Paksha). As per the English calendar Dhanteras is celebrated in October or November. The word Dhanteras signifies Dhan which means wealth.

The history of Dhanteras
Dhanteras is all about celebration with gold. Actually it is believed that the history of Dhanteras will take us back to the time when the world was not formed. The oceans were churned and the God came out with a pot of wealth on the day of Dhanteras. This pot of wealth was meant for the prosperity of the people. This wealth helped the mankind. On this day it is believed that lord Lakshmi came to help mankind. Since then Dhanteras is celebrated all over India. Today the celebration is celebrated in different parts of the world.

The story of Dhanteras
There is a story behind Dhanteras. On the fourth day of marriage, sixteen years old King Hima was bitten by a snake. This was already predicted in his horoscope. So his wife did not let him sleep. She laid all ornaments on the entrance of her husband’s room. She said stories and sung songs to keep him awake. When the God of death Yama came to take him he could not enter the room because of the ornaments blocking the door. The God came in the form of a serpent. As he could not enter the room, he sat on the heap of the ornaments and listened to the songs. In the morning he left. This way the wife saved the life of the husband. Hence, the Dhanteras is also celebrated as Yamadeepdaan. On this day, lamps are lit overnight to keep death away.

The tradition
Dhanteras is all about gold. So, as a tradition people buy gold and silver. It is important to buy one or two utensils. The ornament shops get over flooded with people. The Lakshmi puja is performed on this day. Dhanteras is connected with gold. So it is essential to buy gold on this day. People believe that buying gold on Dhanteras is auspicious and it brings good luck.

The celebration
The celebration of Dhanteras is a part of Diwali celebration. People make special food. The Laksmi puja is performed to maintain the inflow of wealth in the family. The houses are decorated with lights and oil lamps. The celebration of this day involves lot of enthusiasm. Bhajan which are devotional songs are sung in the evening after the puja. Special traditional sweets are offered to the Goddess. At many places people worship their cattle as it is the main source of income.

Houses are painted and renovated during this time of the year. Rangolis are made with flowers and colors. The entrances of the houses are lit with candles or lamps. It is believed that this light keeps evil spirit away.

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