Travel-India

Dhanteras

Also known as Dhantrayodashi and Dhanwantari Trayodashi, Dhanteras marks the beginning of five day long festivities of Diwali.

‘Dhan’ means wealth and ‘Trayodashi’ means thirteenth. Hence, as the name indicates, Dhanteras falls on the thirteenth day of the Krishna Paksha of Hindu month of Kartik.

Like most other Hindu festivals, Dhanteras also has beautiful legends associated with it.

People clean and decorate their houses and light a diya at night in awe of Lord Yamaraj, the God of Death, seeking protection and well-being.

Buying a utensil or a coin of gold or silver on Dhanteras is considered auspicious.

In the year of 2017, Dhanteras is on 17th October.

 

Legend

As the legend goes, during the war between Gods and demons, when the Gods churned the ocean, Lord Dhanwantari, the physician of Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu, appeared from the ocean carrying elixir, to save mankind. Then on, Dhanteras was celebrated to honour Lord Dhanwantari for his grace.

As per another legend, son of one king Hima was predicted to die on the 4th day of his marriage as a result of snakebite. The prince was married to a beautiful and intelligent princess who was determined not to let the prophecy come true and devised a plan for the same.

She heaped all her wealth and jewellery at the entrance of her husband’s boudoir and illuminated the whole chamber with lamps. To keep her husband from sleeping, she kept narrating stories and singing songs the whole night.

At midnight, Yama, God of Death, appeared in guise of a snake but the bright lights blinded him and prevented him from entering the chamber. He settled on the pile of wealth at the doorstep and waited whole night for an opportunity to bite the prince, but in vain. Disappointed and defeated but impressed by the lady’s determination, Yama left quietly in the morning and this intelligent woman was able to save her husband from the clutches of death.

Since then, the 13th day of the Kartik month is also known as ‘Yamadeepan’ and it has been a tradition ever since to light a ‘diya’ on Dhanteras and keep it burning through the night.

 

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