Dhanteras 2012

| July 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

Dhanteras – The Festival of Glorious Spending

Dhanteras 2012:

When it happens: 11th November 2012
Where it happens: All parts of India

Dhanteras is a two-day festival of wealth and prosperity celebrated in India celebrated on the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival. What makes this festival distinct from other festival and celebrations is because of how it is celebrated. You might sound surprised, but the main feature of the festival is shopping and spending! Malls, stalls, and several merchants are crowded with people celebrating such an event with loads of cash with them. It’s a unique celebration wherein people celebrate by spending money  to purchase jewelry and utensils to venerate the occasion.

Origins

The ‘Dhan’ in Dhanteras means wealth. On the event, the owl form of the Goddess Laxmi is worshiped to provide wealth, prosperity and well being. This event holds a special significance for the thriving business community due to the customary act of shopping and purchasing precious metals, which can be in the form of utensils or jewelries, on this day.

There are two Legends associated with the Festival:

The Dhanteras Legend

The 16-year old son of a certain King Hima was doomed to die by a snake bite on the fourth day of his wedding, as predicted by his horoscope. However, the newly -wed wife of the prince was cunning and she refused to let him sleep on the fourth day of the wedding. She laid out all her ornaments along with plenty of gold and silver coins at the sleeping chamber entrance and lit several lamps all over the place. To keep her husband from sleeping, she sang melodious songs.

The Death God, Yama, took the form of a snake to take the price’s life but his eyes were blinded by the sharp lights of the lamps and jewelry. Unable to enter the chamber he climbed on top of the heap of gold and silver, sitting there the whole night as he enjoyed the songs of the prince’s wife. The next morning, he just left away. To commemorate this occasion, the women light earthen lamps at night and kept burning throughout the night.

Dhanvantari  Myth

The other legend associated with the festival is about a cosmic battle between the gods and demons, churning the ocean for amrita, the divine nectar. It was Dhanvantari, the Avatar of Vishnu and physician of the Gods, emerged and carried a jar of the sacred elixir on the day of Dhanteras.

What to Do

People decorate the main doors of their houses and offices with flower lights and Rangoli, decorative Indian folk art designs made on the floors of living rooms and courtyards. A very extensive pooja is organized in all households where the people worship the Goddess Laxmi with their purchased items of the day which are either utensils or jewelries. The Hindus believe that this festival would bring in riches, good luck and prosperity in everybody’s life.

Small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses to signify the long-awaited arrival of the Goddess Laxmi. Lamps are also kept burning all through the night.

What to Expect

On Dhanteras, tiny clays are lit at evenings, devotional songs are sung, and traditional sweets are offered to the Goddess. In villages, cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers because of their role as being their main source of income and also because they are thought of as incarnations of the Goddess Laxmi. Overall, the event is celebrated with song, dance, sweets, artful decorations, and of course, some spending.

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Category: Calendar, Calendar of events, Hindu festivals, Holidays 2012, Indian Festivals

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