If your have heard of Diwali, then you must surely have heard about ‘Dhanteras’, a festival celebrated with great fervor in India.
It is the first day of the festival ‘Diwali’, which is a big celebration in India. The festival is also known ‘Dhanatrayodashi’ or ‘Dhanvantari Trayodashi’.
It is a celebration of family prosperity as the name ‘Dhan’ means wealth in Hindi.The goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on this festival to bring in prosperity and well being.This festival holds special significance for business communities and it is considered auspicious to buy precious metals on this day.
On the day of the festival, business buildings and premises are renovated and decorated with full gusto. The entrances are decorated with colorful motifs of ‘Rangoli’ to signify prosperity and welcome Goddess Lakshmi. Small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the house to mark her arrival. Candles and lamps are also burnt.
It is considered auspicious and holy to purchase gold or silver or at least two new utensils for wealth and prosperity. Buying new things on this day is considered a sign of good luck. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening and ‘Diyas’ and candles are lit around the house to enjoy the festivities.
Celebrations include offering prayers to Goddess Lakshmi to drive away evil spirits and pray for long life and good health. Sweets are exchanged and shopping is done with great gusto.There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds with jaggery and offer it to the gods.
In villages, cattle is adorned and farmers worship them, since it signifies their source of income. In south India, a special ritual is done for cows as they are considered an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, according to the Hindu mythology.