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First day of Diwali : Dhanteras


Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi  is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Aaswayuja in the Indian traditional lunar calendar. Following legends are associated with Dhanteras:

It is the day of Kuber (the Treasures of Gods) poojan. It is believed to be auspicious to buy gold jewelry & kitchen utensils on this day. Along with Kuber, Lakshmi is also worshiped on this day.

Dhanteras Meaning

Dhanteras is derived from Sanskrit word DhanTrayodashi, wherein Dhan means Money and Trayodashi is the 13th of day of the Lunar month. Here it is the 13th day of dark fortnight of Kartik Lunar Month. Hence Dhanteras denotes the 13th day which gives abundant wealth. Thus Dhanteras is celebration of gods and goddesses of wealth and health Lord Kuber,Lord Dhanvantari and Goddess Lakshmi .

Also, according to another tradition, ‘Dhan’ in Dhantrayodashi denotes the initials of Lord Dahnvantrai, the God of Ayurveda therapy because Dhanteras is his birthday too. Thus Dhanteras is considered the day of health and wealth both.


Why is Dhanteras celebrated?

Dhanteras marks the beginning of 5 day Diwali festival. It is the day when God Dhanvantari emerged from the ocean of milk with a vessel of nectar. at the time ocean churning.

Dhanteras is the birthday of Dhanvantari-The God of health and medicine. It is said that Lord Dhanvantari appeared on this day with ‘Amrit’ Nectar of immortality after the churning of the cosmic ocean. Lord Dhanvantari is also considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Dhanvantari is considered to be the progenitor of Ayurveda-The science of healing and medicines-Primarily through plants and herbs.

People recite the following story on this day during their evening worship :

“According to ancient tales once sixteen year old son of King Hima had a malicious horoscope and he  was predicted to be dead  by snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that particular day, his newly-wed wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid out all her ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a heap at the entrance of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps all over the place. Then she narrated stories and sang songs to keep her husband from falling asleep. The next day, when God of death, Yama,  arrived at the prince’s doorstep in the guise of a serpent. He was astounded by the dazzling lights of of the lamps and the jewelry. Yama could not enter the prince’s chamber, so he climbed on top of the heap of gold coins and sat there the entire night listening to the stories and songs. In the morning, he silently went away. Thus, the young prince was saved from the clutches of death by the cleverness of his devoted wife, and the day came to be celebrated as Dhanteras.”

Dhanteras Puja

In ancient times Kuber pooja used to be the main feature of this day, with time it became associated with the purchase of jewelry and utensils.

On Dhanteras Hindus burn earthen lamps and offer ‘Prasad'(Usually sweets made from milk products), at sunset after Pooja. Lamp is offered to Yama Raj, the Lord of Death and people pray for protection from untimely death. Usually this offering is made near Tulsi plant. Tulasi is considered highly auspicious in Indian culture.

Dhanteras Diwali 2023 Dates

According to Thakur Prasad Panchang, Varanasi

5 Day FestivalDate
Dhanteras (Dhan Trayodashi)10 November 2023, Friday
Roop-Narak Chaturdashi (Chhoti Diwali)11 November 2023, Saturday
Diwali-Deepavali12 November 2023, Sunday
Annkoot-Govardhan Pooja14 November 2023, Tuesday
Bhai Dooj-Yam Dwitiya15 November 2023, Wednesday

Previous Years Diwali Schedule

Diwali 2022 Dates-According to Thakur Prasad Panchang,Varanasi

5 Day FestivalDate
Dhanteras (Dhan Trayodashi)22 October 2022, Saturday
Roop-Narak Chaturdashi (Chhoti Diwali)23 October 2022, Sunday
Diwali-Deepavali24 October 2022, Monday
Annkoot-Govardhan Pooja26 October 2022, Wednesday
Bhai Dooj-Yam Dwitiya27 October 2022, Thursday

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