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The Hindu festival of Dhan Teras, also referred as Dhantrayodashi and Dhanvantari Triodasi, can be called as the official mark of the beginning of the Diwali celebrations. It is celebrated with extreme prominence in north India. The term ‘Dhan’ refer for wealth, and ‘Teras’ defined for the day of its observance.
Time of Celebration
This festival is observed on the thirteenth lunar day of the dark fortnight of the month of Kartik in Hindu calendar. According to Georgian calendar, it usually falls either in the month of October or November.
Exact Dates of Dhan Teras:
- Dhan Teras 2017 Date: October 17, 2017
- Dhan Teras 2018 Date: November 05, 2018
- Dhan Teras 2019 Date: October 26, 2019
- Dhan Teras 2020 Date: November 13, 2020
- Dhan Teras 2021 Date: November 03, 2021
- Dhan Teras 2022 Date: October 23, 2022
Most Auspicious Time for Dhan Teras (Lakshmi Ganesh Kuber Pooja):
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There is an extremely popular legend associated with this festival. According to this legend, the sixteen-year old son of King Hima was doomed to meet death because of a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. Fearing on the same, his young wife didn’t let him sleep that night. Also, she placed lots of gold ornaments and silver coins, and lighted many lamps all around the prince’s room as well as his room entrance. Meanwhile, she kept on singing songs and telling different stories to keep prince awake. When Yama, the Hindu God of Death, actually arrived in order to have a guise of a serpent, his eyes went dazzled with the blistering of gold, silver, and light lying on there. Unable to move into the prince’s room, Lord Yama sat over the heap of gold and silver, and went on listening melodic songs as sung by prince’s wife for the whole night. IN the morning, Lord Yama returned empty-handed. Since then, the day of Dhan Teras gained itself a land of belief and extreme prominence. It is also referred as ‘Yamadeepdaan’ because of its association with Lord Yama.
There is another legend associated to the festival. According to this legend, when deities (Devtas) and demons (Asuras) were churning the ocean for attaining nectar (Amrit), Dhanvantari emerged out of the ocean carrying a jar of elixir on the day of Dhan Teras. In Hindu mythology, Dhanvantari is considered as one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and the physician of the Gods.
Rituals and Celebrations
- This festival has a lot to do with Goddess Laxmi, the Hindu Goddess who is considered to be the supreme-most influential factor on aspects of wealth and prosperity in everyone’s life. On this day, people offer devoted worships to her ‘owl’ form, and pray her for getting conferred with her blessings. Anyone who puts in true and unconditional devotion in her on this day gets rid of all financial problems and escalates high on aspects of wealth and prosperity in life.
- Traditionally, it is considered as extremely auspicious to buy some sort of utensil, or gold or silver on this day. Doing so believes to derive good luck in the house.
- Lamps are lighted all over the house during evening, and special consideration is made to ensure that they keep on lightning for the whole night. Lighting them wards off all evil spirits settled in that place. Burning of lamps is also considered to be a way with which one pays adoration to Lord Yama.
- With the lighting of lamps, Laxmi Puja is performed in the house in which every family member participates. It should preferably be done during Pradosh Kaal, which begins at sunset and lasts for next 2 hours and 24 minutes. Devotional songs in adoration of deity are sung by all in chord to mark the essence of occasion. In the end, traditional sweets are offered to deity as Bhog, and are later distributed among everyone present as Prasad.
- It is an extremely important festival for all those who have their own businesses or trade, no matter how big or small they might be. The aspect of significance of this festival for them arrives from the fact that ion this day almost all households engage in buying of metals in some or the other form.
- Considering the auspiciousness associated with this day, many get their houses and workplaces renovated and decorated. Beautiful rangolis designs are drawn at the entrance of the as a symbol of reception for Goddess Laxmi. Also, small footprints or Charan Padukas are hand drawn using rice flour and vermillion powder in different parts of the house.
- In villages, farmers worship their cattle, as they are the source of all their wealth, and their bread and butter. In Western India, mercantile community celebrates it with extreme fervour and devotion. In Maharashtra, dry coriander seeds along with jiggery are pound and offered as Naivedya to Goddess. In South India, cows are believed to be a form of Goddess Laxmi, and believing on the same, people offer them devoted worships.
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