Dhanteras or Dhanvantari is the first day of the grandeur Hindu festival of Deepawali. The occasion of Dhanteras is dedicated to worshipping of Lord Dhanvantari and God of Ayurveda. Besides, the celebration involves praying to Kuber, the god of wealth.
The festival of Dhanteras comes on the thirteenth day of Karthik month according to the Hindu calendar. However, the festival falls in the month of October or November as per the Gregorian calendar.
The day of Dhanteras festival is the reminder of “spring cleaning” and preparation for the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi. Since the day of Dhanteras, people start celebrating Deepawali week. Therefore, to people, it is the notion of the beginning of Diwali customs.
Also, this day has a significant occasion to consider personal health and spirituality. People have a faith that praying to Dhanvantari and God of Ayurveda on this day helps getting rid of diseases.
In ancient times, Ayurveda has the cure to every disease and still has a noteworthy position in severe medical treatments across the globe. Specifically, in Hindu olden times, Ayurveda has a vital role in therapeutic terms.
The festival of Dhanteras is known to people as “National Ayurveda Day” as well. On 28th October 2016, people observed the first National Ayurveda Day across the country.
The word Dhanteras is blended of two words- “Dhan” meaning wealth & prosperity, and “Teras” means the thirteenth day.
In accordance with the Hindu calendar, the festival of Dhanteras falls in the month of Karthik on the thirteenth lunar day in Krishna Paksha. People across the globe also know this festival as Dhanvantari Trayodashi or Dhanatrayodhashi.
On this day, people worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. People also believe it to be the day when Goddess Lakshmi comes out of the ocean while the Gods and Rakshasas perform “Samundra Manthan”.
Alongside this, devotees worship Kuber, the god of wealth on this day.
Dhantera is the first day of the 5 days long Deepawali celebrations.
The celebration of Dhanteras holds a significant portion of Hindu festivals. This day is an association with joy and prosperity. People are highly motivated on this day because it is the commencement of the Deepawali festivity. Thus, the joy of the population is a viewable affair on Dhanteras.
With the belief of welcoming Goddess Lakshmi in their life, people purchase ornaments, utensils, gemstones, and other products. In accordance with the ancient tales, the purchase of metals and ornaments on this day brings wealth to one’s home.
All the Hindu families celebrate Dhanteras with great zeal. However, one and all buy ornaments as per the budget.
There are numerous mythological tales behind the celebration of Dhanteras. The tales trace to the 16 years old son of King Hima. In a prediction, his mother gets to know about his death because of a snake bite at the 4th day of his marriage.
To save his life, his wife searches for a way. She dedicatedly plans to her husband. To save him, she doesn’t allow her husband to sleep on that night. She recites stories and melodies songs so that she would keep him awake. Also, she collects all her ornaments and gold & silver coins.
She makes a heap with all the ornaments and coins at the doorway of their bedroom and lit lamps around each corner of the room.
Later, Yama, the god of death comes in the disguise ofSerpent. He finds his eyes dazzling because of the lighting lamps and jewelry. He sits on the heap of the ornaments for the whole night as he becomes unable to see and pass through the light.
Slowly, it becomes dawn and Yama returns sparing the life of the prince. This is how a dedicated wife saves her husband. This entire occasion is also known to people as Yamadeepan and Dhanteras are also known as to the name of “Yamadeepan”.
Another mythological tale mentions, in a fearsome battle of gods and demons meanwhile they churn the ocean for Amrit (elixir), an incarnation of Lord Vishnu comes in the form of Dhanvantari. He carries the divine nectar in a pot.
So, in accordance with this tale, the festival gets the name of Dhanteras.
The excitement of the public is viewable on this day because it is the starting of the grand festivity of Deepawali. Dhanteras comes in autumn along with the lavish harvest and fresh breezes.
The tradition of Dhanteras has a major significance in the life of the businessmen community because this is one of the most important days of the year for sales.
For luck, prosperity, and health people purchase gold& silver articles on this day. Alongside this, a huge purchasing of utensils also takes place on Dhanteras. The shops remain open late into the night and markets have a huge crowd of people coming for shopping for their homes. In India, it is also a great occasion to fix the dates of marriages and engagements.
Furthermore, after the purchasing of ornaments and coins, people present it in front of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha and offer prayers & chant holy mantras.
In the southern part of India, there is a custom of preparing Marundhu which is a special traditional recipe. It is a kind of Ayurvedic medicine that people prepare with a belief in getting rid of diseases.
Any Hindu festival is incomplete without the tradition of serving delicious eatables in plates. On Dhanteras, people cook numerous varieties of foodstuff and sweets.
Here are the most popular Indian dishes to cook and eat on the occasion of Dhanteras-
Sweets- Aante Ka Halwa (Lapsi), Gulab Jamun, Panchamrit, Boondi Ka Laddoo, and Kheer.
Snacks- Namak Para, Murukku, Ribbon Pakoda, Paneer Tikka, Mathri, and Besan Sev.
Meals- Palak Paneer, Aloog Gobi, Puri, and Veg Pulao.
The celebration of Dhanteras typically takes place all over the country. However, the festival originates from the northern portion of the country. Also, people from all the different regions of India visit the market on the occasion of Dhanteras and purchase gold and silver.
In northern parts of the country such as Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh the markets observe a great number of customers. Thus, the businessmen community around the country expects a good sale on this day. They present great offers and discounts to attract their customers.
The day of Dhanteras is believed to be an auspicious day for the purchase of utilities as well as luxury.
As a matter of fact, in the Hindu religion, Dhanteras is the day to welcome prosperity and fortune in life. Also, the markets observe a significant decoration on this day.
People hold a belief of lighting the Diyas in front of their doorsteps on the day of Dhanteras. Therefore, the light of the lamps fights with the negativity and shower divine blessing.
The festival of Dhanteras falls on Friday, 13th November. Also, Dhanteras Next Four Years-
These were the major details about the festival of Dhanteras. Also, you may like to know about the Prominent Hindu Festival in India.