The Indian festival of Dhanteras, marks the 13 the day of the month, two days before Diwali which falls on a new moon night or amavasya.
Dhanteras – “Dhan” meaning wealth. “Teras” meaning the thirteenth day. So this day marks the day of wealth, luck and prosperity.
Festivities begin in every household from today. However, preparations for Diwali including cleaning up the house, preparing delicacies and snacks, shopping for new clothes begin a month in advance.
Namkeen - A salty Indian snack.
Sev a deep fried delicacy
The day of Dhanteras which happens to be today this year ( The date of the festival differ every year based on the tithi ) is an auspicious one.
People celebrate by worshipping the Hindu Goddess Laksmi, the Goddess of wealth and Lord Kuber, the custodian of wealth. Prayers for wealth, prosperity and well being throughout the year are made.
Lord Dhanvantari, considered to be the physician of Gods is worshipped today for good health. It is believed that he emerged from a sea today, when gods churned the sea,carrying a pot of Amrit or Elixir.
The main doors of houses are decorated with powdered colour called rangoli and earthen oil lamps called diyas. This is done to ward off evil.
It’s customary for people to buy Gold, silver or metal ornaments or utensils are purchased to bring luck into one’s home.
In the evening, auspicious temple bells can be heard from several houses as people perform evening prayers or puja and sing praises or aarti.
Windows of houses twinkle with electric lights, paper lanterns and the likes. The whole nation is lit up and a sense of joy is felt pulsing through the air, in the brightly lit homes and the laughter of people enjoying this auspicious day.
However it’s not just about the lights and celebrations, it’s about a sense of family. About coming together to share the joy of the festival.
Happy Dhanteras to everyone out there ☺
Lit up buildings