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Dhanteras - The First Day Of Diwali | धनतेरस - दिवाली का पहला दिन

Dhanteras – The First Day Of Diwali

Dhanteras, also known as Dhantrayodashi or Dhanwantari Triodasi, is a Hindu festival celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Kartik. It marks the beginning of Diwali celebrations and usually falls between October-November according to the Gregorian calendar. The word ‘Dhan’ means wealth and ‘Teras’ stands for 13th day.

On this day, people worship Lord Dhanvantari, who is considered the god of health and wealth, and Goddess Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Dhanteras is considered an auspicious day for buying new items, especially gold, silver, and utensils. It is believed that purchasing these items on Dhanteras brings good luck and prosperity to the household.

Why is Dhanteras Celebrated?

The festival celebrates Lakshmi Puja – worshiping Goddess Lakshmi who symbolizes prosperity, good luck, and fortune. People perform puja with diya lamps made from wheat flour dough filled with oil or ghee along with offerings such as flowers, fruits, etc. while chanting mantras dedicated to goddess Lakshmi. On this auspicious occasion, people buy gold jewelry or utensils which are considered symbols of good luck and prosperity.

The history of Dhanteras is linked to Hindu mythology and has several stories associated with it. One of the most popular legends is related to the churning of the ocean, known as Samudra Manthan, which is described in the Puranas. As per the legend, during the churning of the ocean, several divine objects emerged, including Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that on the day of Dhanteras, Lord Dhanvantari, who is considered the god of health and wealth, appeared during the churning of the ocean, carrying a jar of elixir or Amrit.

Another legend is related to King Hima’s daughter-in-law, who was destined to die on the fourth day of her marriage due to the influence of the god of death, Yama. However, on the fourth day of her marriage, she took precautions and did not allow Yama to enter her chamber. She lit lamps and placed them around her chamber and created a heap of gold and silver coins at the door. She also sang songs and narrated stories to keep herself awake.

When Yama arrived in the form of a serpent to take her life, he was dazzled by the light of the lamps and blinded by the glittering heap of gold and silver. He could not enter the chamber, and eventually, he had to leave without taking the life of the young bride. Since then, the day came to be known as Dhanteras, and it is believed that buying gold, silver, and other items on this day brings good luck and prosperity.

How is it Celebrated?

On this day family members gather together at home to celebrate by performing pooja rituals followed by feasting on delicious sweets like laddoos, barfis, etc. After that, they exchange gifts with each other signifying their love and affection towards one another. This festive season brings joyous moments for everyone involved making them forget all worries & sorrows associated with life.

Apart from worshipping goddess Lakshmi there are some traditional customs observed during the Dhanteras celebration such as buying new clothes for every member of the family including children & elders alike, lighting up diyas around the house entrance door so that divine light can enter inside bringing peace & harmony within the household and exchanging gifts amongst relatives/friends showing gratitude towards each other’s presence in life.

People clean their houses and decorate them with rangolis, diyas, and flowers to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Everyone prepares special food items like sweets and savories on Dhanteras to offer to the deities and share with family and friends. It is believed that giving gifts to Dhanteras brings good luck and prosperity. It is an occasion for people to renew their commitment to work hard and achieve success in their endeavors.

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