Dhanteras (Dhantrayodashi) is the 1st day of the 5th day Diwali Festival as celebrated in parts of north India. The festival, also known as “Dhanvantari Triodasi”, falls in Kartik (October/November) of the Hindu Calendar.
The Dhan 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 purchasing of precious metals like gold, silver and properties too.
To mark the auspicious day, houses and business offices are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the night.
On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck. “Laxmi Puja” is performed in the evenings when tiny Diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. “Bhajans”, devotional songs in praise of Goddess Laxmi, are also sung.
A Hatri is Kept in each house having 4 diyas at each corners of the house for overall protection and improvement of business in all four directions.For Our forefathers, sweets and Namkeen are offered in their name and given to a temple priest. A Bandarwar is put on each house door for welcoming Goddess Lakshmi. The Ladies of the House ar supposed to put Haldi and the silver/gold coins are washed.