Diwali Week : Day #1 : DHANTERAS
So, Diwali is finally here! Diwali or Deepawali marks the day in history when Lord Ram brought Lady Sita home after rescuing her from the shackles of Mighty Raavan. Thus, It's celebrated all over India as the day when good prevailed over evil.Actually, Diwali is a 5-day affair starting with "Dhanteras" to "Bhai Dooj". So, through a series of posts, I would try to explore & widen your understanding (as well as mine) about significance of each day. Let's start with DHANTERAS!
#Occurrence of Dhanteras as per Hindu Calendar
Dhanteras is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu month of Karthik. It was celebrated on 5th of November this year.
The hindu calender is little different from the Gregorian calender. Unlike Gregorian calendar which adds additional days to lunar month to adjust for the mismatch between twelve lunar cycles (354 lunar days) and nearly 365 solar days, the Hindu calendars maintain the integrity of the lunar month, but insert an extra full month by complex rules, every 4 years, to ensure that the festivals and crop related rituals fall in the appropriate season. This Indian system of calendar keeping is one of the luni-solar calendar systems innovated in ancient human cultures.
# Who is Worshipped on Dhanteras ?
Goddess Laxmi, Goddess of wealth, is worshipped on this day. Also, it is also celebrated as the day of "Dhanvantri", God of Ayurveda. Thus, this day is celebrated to mark the arrival of "Dhan" (Wealth) as well as preservation of our health.
# How it is celebrated ?
Usually, before Diwali people all over India, clean their houses & offices to welcome Goddess Laxmi. The main entrance are decorated with colorful lanterns, holiday lights and traditional motifs of Rangoli designs are made to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. See images below of my rangoli & lit "diyas".
|This is mine! I tried to do justice with my artistic capability.|
|Rangoli, motifs drawn using powdered colours.|
|"Mehendi", henna based paste applied in form of visual designs as a mark of celebration.|
On the D-day, people perform "Pujas" to please Goddess Laxmi to shower her blessings on them. They also worship the tools which are the source of their livelihood. For example, my father's in jewellery business. So, we worship the tools which are used to create the jewellery. It shows respect & gratefulness towards the profession which helps us in living a comfortable life.
Bhajans "(Prayer Hyms) are sung & aartis are performed towards the end.
# Legends associated with this day...
- On the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi came out from the ocean of milk during Samudra Manthan (the churning of the Sea). Hence, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on the day of Trayodashi.
- According to a popular legend, when the "Devas" (Angels) and "Asuras" (Demons) performed the Samudra Manthan for Amrit (elixir of life), Dhanvantari emerged carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras.
# What items are bought on this day ?
On this day, Hindus consider it as an extremely auspicious day to make new purchases, especially gold or silver articles and new utensils. It is believed that new wealth or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck. In modern times, Dhanteras has come to be known as the most auspicious occasion for buying gold, silver and other metals especially kitchenware. The day also sees heavy purchases of appliances and automobiles.
|Gold & Silver Coins are popular items bought on Dhanteras|
Interesting Fact : Hindus buy a small broom on this day as sign of sweeping out poverty from their homes & welcoming the goddess of wealth to stay.
That's all for today. See you later, Folks!