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Dhantrayodashi or popularly known as Dhanteras marks the outset of the five day triumphantly joyful festival of Diwali.

• The word Dhanteras is a union of two words ‘Dhan’ which means wealth & ‘Teras’ or ‘Trayodashi’ meaning Thirteen(13). As per the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar, in the month of Karthik, the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha, is celebrated as Dhanteras.

• The apologue behind Dhanteras is revealed by the yarn leading to the 16 year old son of King Hima. He was destined to die on the Fourth day of his marriage due to snakebite. After his marriage, his wife was determined to safeguard her husband’s life.

• On the fourth day of the marriage, his wife stacked all her jewellery at the door of the bedroom. She also lit diyas all over the house & started telling stories and songs to keep her husband awake. When the Yamraj- the god of Death arrived in the conformation of a snake, his eyes were dazzled & he was rendered sightless temporarily by the luminosity caused by the Diyas & jewellery.

• Yama was unable to enter the Prince’s chamber, so he climbed on the top of the heap of gold & sat there the entire night. In the morning he silently went away. Thus the young prince was saved due to the cleverness of his new bride.

• From then, Dhanteras is considered an auspicious occasion for buying gold or silver articles and new utensils for home. Also, it is believed that purchase of any kind of “metal” on Dhantrayodashi is a symbol of good luck.

• It is believed that on Dhanteras, the oceans were churned for “Amrita” or nectar and Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Dhanvantri came out of that milk of ocean carrying the pot of Elixir meant for a long and healthy life. Dhanvantari is regarded as the God of medicine and one of the many incarnations of Lord  Vishnu.

• The Indian ministry of Ayush announced that Dhanteras will be observed as National Ayurveda Day and it was on October 28, 2016 that the ministry had celebrated National Ayurveda Day for the first time.

• On Dhanteras people worship Goddess Lakshmi for wealth & prosperity, a Diya is lit at the entrance as a mark of sacrosanctity of the house.

The five days of Diwali:

Day 1: Dhanteras

It is auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. “Lakshmi Puja” is performed in the evenings and Diyas are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits.

Day 2: Narak Chaturdashi

It is considered the First day of Diwali for all as on this day Lord Krishna returned home after killing the demon King ‘Narkasur’ Krishna had the kings blood smeared on his forehead and to clean his body he was bathed in scented oils. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise with scented powder and oil is practiced. This day is also regarded as ‘choti diwali’ sometimes.

Day 3: Lakshmi Puja

The third day of the festival of Diwali is the most important day of Lakshmi puja which is entirely devoted to the worship of goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi puja consists of Ganesh puja, the worship of goddess Lakshmi in her three forms Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati and Mahakali and Kuber the treasurer of gods. On this day people light lamps & fireworks to give away darkness & bring in light.

Day 4- Govardhan Puja

The fourth day is Diwali is celebrated as Govardhan Puja and Bali Pratipada also known as Padava. Govardhan Puja is celebrated as on this day Krishna defeated Indra asked the people to worship nature.

Day 5- Bhai Dooj

The fifth and the final day of Diwali is known as Bhai dooj. This day is observed as a symbol of love between sisters and brothers.

• Rising above the realms of materialism, festival of Dhanteras teaches us that the real treasure is not about having wealth but about having prosperity. It marks the dawn of the festival of light providing the very entry to paradise of ever pervading bliss.

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