Known unknown facts about Dhanteras

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Known unknown facts about Dhanteras

Photograph by Vectomart

Dhanteras is a Hindu festival observed in India. Dhanteras, an auspicious day for prosperity and wealth. Dhanteras is a very popular festival and is celebrated just 2 days before Diwali. This day marks the beginning of Diwali and prosperity. This day holds special significance for businessmen who purchase gold on Dhanteras. People usually invest in gold bars or jewelry on Dhanteras. New clothes for Diwali are also bought on this auspicious day.

Here are some interesting lesser-known facts about Dhanteras -

  • “Dhan” means wealth and ‘Teras’ means 13th day as per the Hindu calendar. Silver idols of Lakshmi and Ganesha, Gold or silver ornaments, silver puja thali and golden flowers used to worship are purchased on this day, as a  sign of good luck. “Dhan” or some form of the precious yellow metal is invested for symbolic prosperity.

  • Not many people are aware of the fact that Dhanteras is also known as Dhanatrayodashi or Chhoti Diwali or Dhanvantari Trayodashi.

  • This is the first day that marks the festival of Diwali in India and the festival of Tihar in Nepal.

  • Dhanteras is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Karthik.

  • Dhanteras is popular among children, as they get to touch their Diwali crackers for the first time.

  • Dhanteras is also an occasion for women to flaunt their jewelry and dress up for the occasion.

  • Dhanteras is believed to be a festival for buying gold, silver and such elements and this year the sales for gold and silver have increased by 35 percent.

  • Gold is the most purchased item on Dhanteras. Gold can be bought in the form of coins or bars.

  • Silver coins are mostly used for `Lakshmi Puja` and gifting purposes during Dhanteras, Diwali and Bhai Dooj.

Dhanteras

Photograph by Designsoul

  • Dhanvantari, who is also worshipped on the occasion of Dhanteras, is the god of Ayurveda who imparted the wisdom of Ayurveda for the betterment of mankind and to help rid it of the suffering of disease.

  • It is said that during Samudra Manthan, Dhanvantari (teacher of all physicians) had appeared with the knowledge of Ayurveda. Dhanteras is celebrated as the day when Ayurveda first got introduced to mankind by Dhanvantari.

  • As per Hindu mythology, buying a precious metal on this day helps to bring prosperity and good luck.

  • It is popular among many communities to offer thirteen diyas to Lord Yama. This is done to strengthen the lifeline of the family members.

  • Usually, Lakshmi puja is performed in the evening of Dhanteras. Diyas, made of Clay, are light to drive away evil spirits from the house.

  • The spirit of Dhanteras is celebrated in eastern India as Kali Puja and Dipanwita Lakshmi Puja.

  • It is usually observed one day before Diwali. It is customary to decorate the house with at least 14 candles to drive away the evil spirits.

  • It is common in many regions to celebrate Dhanteras by drawing rangoli and strategically placing diyas on it. The rangoli is said to have a magnetic effect on prosperity.

  • In some regions, copper containers are filled with water and tulsi leaves and are placed in different parts of the house.

  • In many parts of the cow belt, the domestic animals are washed and worshipped on the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras.

Dhanteras

Photograph by Allies Interactive

  • Dhanteras is not just about puja. In many parts of the country, the day is celebrated in the form of family reunions and get-togethers to strengthen family bonds.

  • Dhanteras puja allows people to avoid untimely death. The story of the 16-year-old son of King Hema describes how the night-long puja helped him to avoid a snakebite in spite of death being a part of his fate.

  • In almost all parts of the country, homemade sweets are offered to the deities. From kheer-based mithai to halwa, the type of sweet varies with the geographic location.

  • The Indian ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, announced its decision to observe Dhanteras, as the "National Ayurveda Day" which was first observed on 28 October 2016.

  • Dhanteras was originally celebrated only by the business community, usually in North and West India. However, with time this festival has gained popularity among rest of the population in all parts of India. People have identified Dhanteras as the day when good times begin.

  • There are many tales of prosperity associated with Laxmi and Lord Vishnu, but the one relevant to this day is the tale of the farmer. When Goddess Laxmi visited the earth with Lord Vishnu, she disobeyed him and violated his conditions of not falling prey to earthly temptations. She visited a farmer’s field and enjoyed the sugarcane juice. As penance, Lord Vishnu told her she will have to spend twelve years as a laborer on that farmer’s field. The farmer grew prosperous with the arrival of Laxmi and twelve years passed by. However, he did not want to let her go. When the farmer and his family took a pilgrimage to the river Ganga, Goddess Ganga revealed Laxmi’s true identity. Laxmi assured the farmer that she will visit every year on the Dhanteras day. She asked the farmer to clean his house and light a lamp for her. This is why we do Laxmi Puja on this day.

Dhanteras
Photograph by Vectomart

From buying metal on Dhanteras to decorating the entire house with Diya on Diwali, the to-do list of consumers revolves primarily around these two events post - Dussehra.

What comes to your mind first, when you hear Dhanteras and Diwali? Is it diya, or cracker, or a special treat? Do you usually buy silver or gold on Dhanteras? Let us know your interest in the comment section.

Happy Dhanteras and Shubh Diwali to all of you. Thank you!