A popular valuable metal in India is gold. India is now the world’s top gold importer, surpassing China, demonstrating the nation’s fondness for the precious metal. People in India respect gold and buy gold as a way to express to their loved ones how much they care.
For many in the nation, the metal has deep sentimental significance. Purchasing gold during holidays like Makar Sankranti, Gudi Padwa, Navratri, Dussehra, Akshaya Tritiya, Dhanteras, and others is a long-standing custom in India.
As individuals buy jewellery and coins made of gold on Dhanteras and Diwali, the demand for these metals rises. Literally, Dhanteras translates as “Dhan =wealth” and “Teras = 13th day”.
The story behind celebrating Dhanteras
According to the legend, King Hima’s sixteen-year-old son was told that he would die of a snakebite on the 4th day of his marriage. After hearing this, his newlywed wife piled up all of her decorations, including numerous gold and other coins, in an effort to protect her husband’s life. She started telling stories and singing songs keeping her husband awake. On the day of death, lord Yama arrived as a snake to take the king’s soul. Blinded by the glittering gold and the snake could not enter the room and climbed the pile of wealth and sat there listening to the wife’s songs and stories. Later in the morning, the snake left quietly without taking the king’s soul. Since that time, purchasing precious metals on Dhanteras—including gold and other metals—has been regarded as lucky.
What are our traditions for Dhanteras?
It’s a common belief in India that purchasing new kitchenware or gold on Dhanteras will bring good fortune to the family. Additionally, it is tradition for people to buy new clothing for the celebration in preparation for Maa Lakshmi worship when they like to dress up and look their finest in ethnic attire.
Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali celebration, one of the most important holidays in India. On this day, people worship the deity of knowledge, Ganesha and the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. The event is of utmost significance for business people who worship Lakshmi.
In the evenings, when clay Diyas are burned to chase away evil spirits from the shadows, Lakshmi Puja is conducted. The whole night is spent chanting bhajans of devotion to the goddess Lakshmi. Prasad in the form of sweets and puris is served to the divinity, worshippers gather with their families and chant to Lord Ganesha and Devi Lakshmi before sharing the prasad among one another. The deity of wellness and Ayurveda, Lord Dhanvantri, is also worshipped in the evening.
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