The five-day Diwali celebrations begin with Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi. On this day, it is considered auspicious to invest in gold and silver in the form of jewellery and utensils. Dhan denotes wealth, and teras denotes the thirteenth day of the lunar cycle.
It will be celebrated with zeal this year on October 22, a Saturday. According to Drik Panchang, the Dhanteras Puja Muhurat begins at 07:02 PM and ends at 08:18 PM.
“The best time for Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras is during Pradosh Kaal, when Sthir Lagna prevails.” The word shir means “fixed,” as in “unable to move.” If Dhanteras Puja is performed during Sthir Lagna, then Lakshmiji will visit your home; thus, this is the best time for Dhanteras Pujan. “During Diwali, Vishabha Lagna is considered a Sthir and mostly overlaps with Pradosh Kaal,” Drik Panchang explains.
On this day, Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, is said to have emerged from the ocean while milk was being churned. As a result, on this day, the Gods of Wealth, Lakshmi and Kubera, are worshipped. However, Amavasya, which falls two days after Dhantrayodashi, is more important for Lakshmi puja.
On Dhanteras, idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh, who are worshipped on Diwali, are also bought.
According to legend, on the fourth night of his marriage, King Hima’s 16-year-old son died as a result of a snake bite. His wife piled up all of her gold ornaments and gold coins to save his life. To keep her husband awake, she sang songs and told him stories. The shine of the gold blinded him when Yamaraj, the god of death, appeared in the form of a serpent to take the prince’s life, and he sat enchanted listening to the melodious music and stories. In a tradition known as Yamadeepdan, people light diyas throughout the night on this day to worship Yamaraj and ward off evil.
Dhanteras, also known as Dhanwantari Triodasi or Dhanvantri Jayanti, commemorates the birth anniversary of the Ayurvedic God Dhanvantri.