Diwali is a five day long festival and the very first day of this festivity is celebrated as Dhanteras. The day is also known as ‘Dhantrayodashi’ or as ‘Dhanvantari’. It is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the dark lunar fortnight in the month of Kartik (October-November), according to the Hindu calendar. The term Dhanteras is the combination of two words, ‘Dhana’ meaning wealth and ‘teras’ meaning the thirteenth. Therefore this festival is celebrated on the thirteenth day with the hope of attaining wealth and as LakshmiLakshmi
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth... is the Goddess of wealth and abundance and KuberaKubera
Kubera is the God of wealth & is known as Dhanpati ... is the Lord of assets and wealth, and abundance, the day is dedicated to them.
According to a legend, there was a boy who was sixteen years old and it was clearly mentioned in his horoscope that he will die on the fourth day from his marriage. He will be bitten by a snake. When he got married, everyone was very scared for his life. His wife decided to show courage and presence of mind. She didn’t sleep or let her husband sleep on the fourth night. She rather narrated stories and sang songs to him. She also laid all her ornaments on the entrance of the house. She then lit a lamp so that to make her gold and silver items shine more brightly.
Yama finally visited their house and he was amazed and dazzled to see such brightness. He tried to enter the house but so much of shine didn’t allow him to keep his eyes open. As he came to the house in the form of a serpent, he just decided to lie down on the heaps of ornaments. He then heard the wife singing and narrating stories. He was so mesmerized that he didn’t realize that it was already morning and his time of taking the soul of the boy was over. He was left with no option than to return back empty-handed. Thus the girl was successful in saving the life of her husband and people started celebrating the day as Dhanteras as there is no greater wealth for a married woman than her husband and that she used all her wealth in manipulating YamaYama
Also known as Yamaraja, Yama is the controller of the hell (Naraka)... and saving her husband from the most severe difficulty of life i.e., death.
The rituals regarding the day mostly start in the evening but people start cleaning their houses way before the festival as it is believed that Lakshmi enters only in a clean and organized place as she dislikes chaos and cannot live in shabby and untidy place. After cleaning, the women of the house make rangolis with various colors. Footprints of Lakshmi are made with red color which are presented to be entering inside the house. A mixture of rice flour and vermilion can also be used to do the same. It is considered highly auspicious. A lamp is lit for the Goddess in the evening and she is welcomed with an open heart. People offer her vermillion, new clothes mainly of red color, sweets, fruits, sandalwood paste and flowers. Some money is also placed in front of her. Devotees then sing devotional songs and hymns in her name. Many people also opt for staying vigil at night and meditating. In various homes, prayers are also offered to Kubera. His idol is placed next to Lakshmi and offerings are made to him too.
People believe that buying gold and utensils on this day can prove very beneficial for the future as jewelry is the symbol of wealth and riches whereas utensils are a symbol of never ending food and abundance. Thus markets can be seen filled with flocks of people. Some men prefer indulging in a friendly game of gambling on the day with their friends and family members.
In big towns business premises are decorated or renovated on this day as it brings growth, profit and sustainability and in villages, farmers adorn, thank and worship their cattle as they earn their income through them. People of Maharashtra, specifically have a custom of making a mixture of dry coriander leaves with jaggery and offering it to the Goddess and Kubera.
According to some beliefs, the day has gained its name as Dhanteras, from the physician of Gods named DhanvantariDhanvantari
Dhanvantri, also known as Physician of Gods and Guardian deity of hospitals.... He is the incarnation of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. who emerged from the ocean, holding a pot of elixir while samudra manthan. As the elixir of life was important for the Gods, similarly wealth and riches are important for humans. The nectar gave Gods an upper hand over the demons and helped them in defeating them, similarly money and other assets give humans an upper hand over the difficulties and uncertainties of life and help them lead a life with ease, comfort and happiness.
Devotees who observe the rituals of the day are blessed with wealth and prosperity and that wealth can be in terms of money or healthy living. People believe that praying to yama and lightning a lamp on the entrance of the house will help in warding of the evil and death and all the loved ones will be blessed by a long life.