DHAN TERAS- Beginning of Diwali
Observances: Buying precious metals
Date: Friday, 13 November 2020
Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi is the first day that marks the festival of Diwali in India. On the night of Dhanteras, Diya’s (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the night in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari. Hindus consider this an extremely auspicious day for making new purchases, especially of gold or silver articles and new utensils.
Dhanteras is the worship of Lord Dhanvantari. Lord Dhanvantari, according to Hindu Mythology, emerged during Samudra Manthan, holding a Kalasha full of Amrit (an Ayurvedic herbal mix bestowing immortality) in one hand and the sacred text about Ayurveda in the other hand. He is considered to be the Vaidya of Gods.
The festival is celebrated as Lakshmi Puja which is performed in the evenings when lamps of clay (Diyas) are lit. Bhajans, devotional songs in praise of Goddess Lakshmi, are sung and Naivedhya of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. A peculiar custom in Maharashtra exists where people lightly pound dried coriander seeds (Dhane in Marathi, for Dhanatrayodashi)Dhanteras, homes that have not yet been cleaned in preparation for Diwali are thoroughly cleaned and whitewashed, and Lord Dhanvantari, the god of health and Ayurveda, is worshiped in the evening. The main entrance is decorated with colorful lanterns, holiday lights, and traditional motifs of Rangoli designs are made to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the house. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the night in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.h jaggery (cane sugar) and offer the mixture as Naivedhya.
In South India (especially Tamil Nadu), Brahmin women make 'Marundhu' which translates as 'medicine' on the eve of Naraka Chaturdasi that is Dhanvantri Trayodashi. The Marundhu is offered during the prayer and eaten in the early morning on Naraka Chaturdasi before sunrise. Many families hand over the recipes of Marundhu to their daughters and daughters-in-law. The Marundhu is consumed to eliminate the imbalance of tridoshas in the body.
The Indian ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy, announced its decision to observe Dhanteras, as the "National Ayurveda Day".