Indian Festival | Dhanteras | Hindu Festival (2016)

Dhanteras Date 2016

Dhanteras this year is on 27 October 2016.

About Dhanteras

Dhanteras is a festival of Hindus and is the first day of the 5 day Diwali festival - the festival of lights.

Dhan means wealth and teras means 13th day. Since this celebration is related to praying for wealth and prosperity and is celebrated on the 13th day of Krishna Paksh as per the Hindu calendar, it is called Dhanteras.

Dhanteras is also less commonly known as Dhantrayodashi, Dhanvantri Jayanti, Yamadeepan and the festival of wealth. It is celebrated by Hindus in India and abroad.

It is an occasion for purchase of new utensils, and gold or silver ornaments. For the business community, it is an occasion to make investments in gold or silver as this day is very auspicious. Most Diwali gifts for distribution are also purchased on this day.

New account books meant for the Hindu new year that follows, are also purchased today and are kept ready for Lakshmi puja which is to follow 2 days later when these books are worshipped and writing commenced, to herald the new financial year beginning on Padwa day - the next day.


Lord Ganesha And Goddess Lakshmi

Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi
Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi | Source

On this occasion Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi - the Goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped. Small earthern lamps called diyas are lit in the evening to ward off evil spirits.
Dhanvantari - the God of Ayurvedic medicine is also worshipped on this occasion.

Devotional songs praising Goddess Lakshmi called Bhajans are sung and traditional sweets made of jaggery and dry coriander called Naivedya are offered to the Goddess.

Villagers worship their source of livelihood, the cattle and cows are worshipped as they are believed to be the incarnation of the Goddess.

Diwali is a time when all homes are cleaned and painted or at least whitewashed, and decorated. So on this occasion of Dhanteras, Rangoli, which is a traditional motif of designs, is made on the floor of the main entrance and doorways, to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. Earthern lamps are lit and kept burning throughout the night.

Legends Associated With Dhanteras

There are 2 legends associated with this festival.

Legend 1

King Hima's 16 year old son was predicted to die of a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. When the fourth day arrived, his wife decided not to allow her husband to sleep. To do this she lit diyas all over the palace and then spread all her jewellery and gold and silver coins. She related stories to him and sung songs.

When Yama, the god of death arrived in the form of a serpent, he was dazzled and blinded by the glitter emanating from the ornaments and coins. Mesmerised by the stories being related and the songs being sung by the princess he just sat there unable to move. When it was morning, he quietly left. King Hima's son was thus saved of imminent death.

Hence to celebrate this day, gold and silver is purchased and lamps are lit and kept burning through the night. Because of this the day is also called Yamadeepan, as it is related to Yama, the God of death and deepan, meaning, the lighting of lamps.

Legend 2

According to this legend, the Gods and demons churned the sea to get hold of amrit or nectar of immortality. Dhanvantari - the God of Ayurvedic medicine emerged holding the jar of elixir.

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© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 22 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

The power of a good writer my friend; you are demonstrating it with these informational hubs. You are shrinking this world by teaching us all about a different culture, and I, for one, am most grateful. Thank you for an excellent hub and education.

bill


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Early in the morning..waking up the beautiful photo..I am really enjoying all of these hubs and learning so much. Thanks and voting UP+++


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Thank you for this interesting hub which I'm pinning to show my grandchildren when they come to stay. Love learning about other cultures. nice picture!

I can't pin it because for some reason the pin button isn't on your hub. I'll try again another day.


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Rajan,

Thank you for sharing the Festival of Hindus. I always find it interesting to learn about others religions and cultures.

Voted up and interesting.

Take care


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Beautiful and so interesting rajan .

Thank you for sharing and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@Bill -thanks and I appreciate your visit and comments.

@ Carol - glad you appreciate these cultural hubs. Thanks.

@ Penelope - thanks for your appreciation. Sometimes the pin button is missing but then it becomes visible again sometime late. Thanks.

@ Sueswan - Always a pleasure to get your comments. Thank you.

@ Eiddwen - Nice to see you and know you like the info. Thanks.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Seriously, rajan I had no idea of this story until now. Thanks for enlightening me. I will be sharing this hub to my local friends here.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I didn't realize that Diwali had a festival in it as well. I presume feasting and food are not part of the celebration -- just buying new things? Voting this Up and Interesting.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Really appreciate this. I knew briefly about the festival of Diwali, but this is a thorough explanation and clarification of many points. Enjoyable and sharing!


Miss Mimi profile image

Miss Mimi 4 years ago from On the road again

I love reading about Hindu celebrations, the legends behind them are so interesting and beautiful. I also really admire how alive the traditions feel, no matter how old the legends are. Voted up and interesting!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Ruchira - Glad to have been of help in providing this information. Thanks for coming by and also sharing this hub.

@ Aurelio - Each day of the 5 day Diwali festival is a festival in itself. Yes for once, this festival is not having a feast attached to it. A much needed rest for our digestive system. Lol! Thanks for the visit and votes.

@ Michelle - I'm glad you understand more of the festivals associated with Diwali. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

@ Miss Mimi - many thanks for your feedback. Appreciate your visit and votes.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 4 years ago from India

Hi Rajan,

We usually brought some small amount of Gold on Dhan teras but given the gold prices this year , I don't think we would be buy any gold this year.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

A great write. I love Diwali and specially Dhanteras. It is a golden rule that we have to buy something in gold - I love this custom of ours!! Diwali is very special to all of us and truly miss being back home.


By Lori profile image

By Lori 4 years ago from USA

Thank you for sharing. It's all nice.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ sweetie - It is indeed a pity gold prices are hitting the roof so purchase of gold is out of the question for many of us. Thanks for coming by.

@ Nithya - Purchase of gold and/or utensils has been a tradition with us. It is infortunately becoming more difficult buying gold with its price rising each year. Thanks for reading.

@ By Lori - glad you liked the festival info. Thanks for visiting.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

My future brother - in - law has provided endless beautiful descriptions such as yours. He explained the Dhanteras - Festival of Hindus - Festival of lights to me and with such glowing and proud praise. Your hub equally did the same.

I so enjoy taking a journey through your words.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

shiningirisheyes, so glad that you enjoy these hubs of mine. I deeply appreciate your visit and comments. BTW, your future b-in-law seems quite knowledgeable in Hindu traditions. Feels nice to know this.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 4 years ago from India

Yes Rajan the gold was around 32,000 rs per 10 grams but we were able to buy some gold and i brought about 12000 rs of gold jewellery , minuscule I know but still it is gold.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

I agree Sweetie. But something is better than not buying at all.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A very interesting and useful Hub, you have shared a wonderful creation voted up!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Devika.


firstday profile image

firstday 2 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

Rajan how delightful! Tomorrow if possible I will buy silver. Thanks for the timeless hub since every year you have the festival.

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