Dhanteras 2023: Date, Significance & Celebrations

As the festival season approaches, one of the most significant days for Hindus – Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi, marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival. Celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Ashvin, Dhanteras holds immense importance in Hindu culture and traditions. In 2023, Dhanteras falls on Tuesday, 17th October.

Significance of Dhanteras

Dhanteras is a combination of two Sanskrit words – Dhan meaning wealth and Teras meaning thirteenth. The word itself signifies the worship of wealth and prosperity on the thirteenth day of the lunar fortnight. This day is dedicated to worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth, and seeking her blessings for prosperity and well-being.

Legend has it that on Dhanteras, it is believed that Lord Dhanvantari emerged from the ocean during the Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean) holding a pot of Amrita (nectar). Thus, Dhanteras is also associated with the divine incarnation of Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda and health.

Celebrations of Dhanteras

1. Buying Gold and Silver: One of the traditional customs of Dhanteras is buying gold, silver, or utensils as it is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Many people invest in precious metals on this auspicious day.

2. Cleaning and Decorating Homes: Homes are cleaned and decorated with rangoli, flowers, and lights to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that a clean and well-decorated home attracts positivity and prosperity.

3. Offering Prayers: Devotees offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera, the treasurer of wealth, seeking their blessings for prosperity and abundance. Lighting diyas and incense sticks is a common ritual performed during the prayers.

4. Performing Lakshmi Puja: In the evening, a special puja dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi is performed with devotion. Mantras and hymns are chanted, and offerings of sweets, fruits, and flowers are made to the deity.

5. Exchanging Gifts: People exchange gifts and sweets with their loved ones, spreading joy and happiness on this festive occasion.

6. Auspicious Time for Puja: The auspicious time for performing the Dhanteras puja usually falls during the evening hours, as per the Vedic calendar. It is advised to consult a priest or follow the local Panchang for the exact timing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dhanteras

Q1. What is the significance of buying gold and silver on Dhanteras?
A: Buying gold and silver on Dhanteras is considered auspicious as it is believed to invite wealth and prosperity into the household. It symbolizes Goddess Lakshmi and is believed to bring good fortune throughout the year.

Q2. Can Dhanteras be celebrated by people of all faiths?
A: While Dhanteras is primarily a Hindu festival, people from all faiths and backgrounds can partake in the celebrations. The spirit of prosperity and well-being transcends religious boundaries.

Q3. What is the importance of cleaning and decorating homes on Dhanteras?
A: Cleaning and decorating homes on Dhanteras is symbolic of welcoming the Goddess Lakshmi into a clean and positive environment. It is believed to attract good vibrations and blessings into the household.

Q4. How is Lakshmi Puja performed on Dhanteras?
A: Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras involves setting up a prayer area, offering flowers, incense, sweets, and fruits to the deity, and reciting mantras dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. It is performed with devotion and sincerity.

Q5. Is fasting a part of Dhanteras celebrations?
A: While fasting is not mandatory on Dhanteras, some devotees choose to observe a partial or full-day fast as a mark of reverence and devotion to Goddess Lakshmi. Fasting rules may vary based on individual beliefs.

Q6. Are there any specific rituals for Dhanteras observed in different regions of India?
A: Yes, different regions of India may have specific rituals and customs associated with Dhanteras. For example, in some regions, people draw footprints of Goddess Lakshmi entering the home to invite wealth and prosperity.

Q7. Can Dhanteras be celebrated in a simple manner at home?
A: Yes, Dhanteras can be celebrated in a simple yet meaningful manner at home by performing puja, offering prayers, lighting diyas, and seeking the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. The essence of devotion matters more than elaborate rituals.

Q8. What role does Lord Dhanvantari play in the Dhanteras celebrations?
A: Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda, is associated with healing and well-being. His presence on Dhanteras signifies prosperity in terms of health and wellness along with material wealth.

Q9. Are there any specific foods or sweets prepared for Dhanteras?
A: While there are no specific foods associated with Dhanteras, people often prepare traditional sweets like besan ladoo, kaju katli, or sooji halwa as offerings to the deities. Home-cooked meals are also shared with family and friends.

Q10. Is there any specific attire traditionally worn on Dhanteras?
A: There is no specific attire mandated for Dhanteras, but many people opt for traditional or festive clothing while celebrating the occasion. Saris, ethnic wear, or brightly colored outfits are popular choices during the festival.

Overall, Dhanteras is a day filled with prayers, rituals, festivities, and the spirit of prosperity. By observing the customs and traditions associated with this auspicious day, devotees seek blessings for wealth, health, and happiness in their lives. May the light of diyas and the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi shine bright on Dhanteras and illuminate the path to success and fulfillment for all.