Happy Dhanteras 2021: A beginner’s guide on why this day is celebrated
Today marks the first day of the 5-day celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights. Dhanteras marks day 1, which derives its meaning from Sanskrit. The literal breakdown is “dhan” meaning wealth and “teras” standing for the 13th day of the Hindu lunar calendar.
Many don’t how the backstory behind Dhanteras and the significance it holds for Hindus that celebrate. There are many different origin stories on why Dhantera is so significant. Below, we take a look at a couple:
- An age-old legend predicts that King Hima’s 16-year-old son will die of a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. After finding this out the son’s wife decides to place a heap of ornaments at her room’s entrance and narrated stories to her husband throughout the night to keep him awake. Lord Yama took the guise of a snake and came to bite King Hima’s son. However, dazzled by the jewelry, he sat on the heap of ornaments and listened to the stories. This way, the new bride distracted Lord Yama and he missed the time set for taking the prince’s life. King Hima’s son was saved and since then, metal has been linked to good luck and success.
- Since Lord Dhanvantari is the god of Ayurvedic medicine, Dhanteras is observed for the wellbeing of one’s family members or kin. Lord Dhanvantari is considered to be the healer of all ailments. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Dhanvantari, who is a physician of the gods, appeared before the Devas and the Asuras during Samudra Manthan. He held in his hands Amrita, or the nectar of immortality, and also the text called Ayurveda.
How to Celebrate
The day starts off with family members sitting in front of the temple in their homes or creating an alter for Lakshmi puja. Usually, they place a red cloth on a wooden chowki (basket/stool) and then add some rice, lit a diya, and place their valuables. This includes jewels, coins, gold, utensils, etc. Families offer prayers to Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi, who are the epitome of auspiciousness and wealth.
Moreover, people decorate their homes with colorful lanterns, lights, and traditional motifs of Rangoli designs. These decorations symbolize the welcoming of the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. Traditionally, one draws small footprints with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the house. This indicates the anticipation of her arrival. On the night of Dhanteras, lamps are ritually burning all through the night in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.
Additionally, on this day people purchase gold and silver jewelry, utensils, home appliances, and other small or lavish items. In some towns, people worship their cattle because this is their primary source of income.
The overall theme of Dhanteras is to cleanse away sin and be grateful for what one has.
Celebrate this festival, by sending your family and friends these meaningful quotes, which reflect the true essence of Dhanteras.
“On this auspicious occasion of Dhanteras, may there be an abundant shower of wealth in your life, and may the light of success covers you and loved ones eternally. Happy Dhanteras!”
“May this Dhanteras Light up new dreams, fresh hopes, undiscovered avenues, and different perspectives, everything bright & beautiful and fill your days with pleasant surprises and moments. Happy Dhanteras to you and your family.”
“Adorn our lives else trite – With sparklers that motley skies – As soaring spirits of powder wander – Let us thank the heavenly might in this festive season of lights.