The festival of lights is here, and the excitement is palpable. Dhanteras, a significant precursor to the grand Diwali celebration, is approaching. This is the time of the year when people adorn themselves in new attire, and the streets and homes come alive with colors and lights. It’s a day when people exchange Diwali presents, engage in festivities, and seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera for prosperity and wealth.
Every year, this festival is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of the Krishna Paksha of the Hindu calendar of Kartik. In 2023, Dhanteras will be observed on November 10.
History of Dhanteras:
Dhanteras holds a significant place in Hindu mythology. It is believed that on this auspicious day, Goddess Durga and Lord Kubera emerged from the ocean during the time of Sagar Manthan. As the Devas and Asuras churned the sea for the elixir of life, Lord Dhanvantari also emerged from the ocean with the divine elixir. To commemorate this event, people worship Goddess Durga and Lord Kubera on Dhanteras. It is believed that by observing Dhanteras, one can invite wealth and prosperity into their lives.
Significance of Dhanteras:
This festival is traditionally considered an auspicious time for purchasing gold, property, and other assets. On this day, three forms of Goddess Lakshmi- Goddess Maha Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, and Goddess Maha Kali-are worshipped. To welcome Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera into their homes, people often buy gold, silver, and electronics. However, it is advised to refrain from purchasing sharp objects, metal items, or plastic and glassware on this day.
Legends Associated with Dhanteras:
A fascinating legend associated with this festival tells the story of a young prince, the 16-year-old son of King Hima. His horoscope predicted that he would die from a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that fateful night, his clever wife thwarted the prediction. She placed all her ornaments, gold, and silver coins in a heap at the entrance of the bedchamber and illuminated countless lamps.
Throughout the night, she regaled her husband with stories and songs to keep him from falling asleep. When Yama, the god of death, arrived in the form of a serpent, he was dazzled by the brilliance of the lamps and jewelry. Unable to enter the chamber, Yama perched on the pile of gold coins and listened to the stories and songs. At dawn, he silently departed, sparing the prince’s life. This clever act of the new bride led to the celebration of Dhanteras.
This practice is known as “yamadipadana,” where women light earthen lamps throughout the night to honor Yama. Since this event occurs on the night before Diwali, it is also known as “Chhoti Diwali” or Minor Diwali in northern India.
In Jainism, this day is celebrated as Dhanyateras, which means the “auspicious day of the thirteenth.” It commemorates Mahavira’s state of meditation and renunciation before achieving Moksha.
Dhanteras City-Wise Puja Timings (2023):
As the nation gears up to celebrate this festival, here are the city-wise puja timings:
- Kolkata: 05:13 PM to 07:11 PM
- Mumbai: 06:20 PM to 08:20 PM
- Bengaluru: 06:10 PM to 08:13 PM
- Chennai: 06:00 PM to 08:02 PM
- New Delhi: 05:47 PM to 07:43 PM
- Pune: 06:17 PM to 08:17 PM
- Ahmedabad: 06:15 PM to 08:13 PM
- Chandigarh: 05:45 PM to 07:39 PM
Prepare to welcome the divine blessings of wealth and prosperity into your life as Dhanteras approaches. May this festival fill your heart and home with joy, prosperity, and the radiant light of knowledge. Happy Dhanteras!