(Hindi: धनतेरस Gujarati: ધન તેરસ) is the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival
as celebrated in parts of north India. The festival, also known as "Dhantrayodashi"
or "Dhanvantari Triodasi"
, falls on the auspicious thirteenth lunar day
of Krishna paksha
(dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar
month of Ashwin
in Dhanteras means wealth
. On Dhanteras, the "Owl" form of Goddess Laxmi
is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day (see Traditions below).
An interesting story about Dhanteras Festival says that, once, the sixteen year old son of King Hima was doomed to die of a snake-bite
on the fourth day of his marriage
as per his horoscope
. So, on the fourth day of his marriage, his young wife did not allow him to sleep
. She laid out gold ornaments
and lots of silver coins
in a big heap at the entrance of her husband's boudoir
and lighted innumerable lamps all over the place. And she went on telling stories and singing
songs. When Yama, the god of Death
arrived there in the guise
of a Serpent
his eyes got blinded by the dazzle
of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince's chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of ornaments and coins
and sat there... Read More