Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi, marks the beginning of the festival of Diwali in India and Tihar in Nepal. ‘Dhan’ means money or wealth and ‘Teras’ signifies the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Karthik.
According to Indian tradition, the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi and Lord of Obstacles, God Ganesha is worshipped on this Day. For Indians Dhanteras, marks the beginning of five day festival of Diwali.
People lit up clay diyas, clean & decorate their homes, whitewash, and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is worshipped in the evening. To welcome Lakshmi people with rice flour and vermilion powder draw small footprints all over the house. And, in the night of Dhanteras, lamps are ritually kept burning all through the nights in honour of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.
For Hindus, buying Gold, household articles, utensils, copper & silver items on Dhanteras is very auspicious, as a symbol to bring prosperity and good fortune to the family. They also invest in purchasing heavy appliances and automobiles.
There is a ritual on Dhanteras to offer Diyas to Tulsi, also place lamps in front of the doorways of homes. This light is an offering to Yama, the Host of Death, to advert untimely death during the time of the Diwali festival.
As per legends, on this day Goddess Lakshmi came out from the ocean of milk during the churning of the Sea, also known as "Samudra Manthan". The god of wealth Kuber is worshipped on this day. The day is also celebrated as Dhanvantari Trayodashi, is when Dhanvantari (the lord of medicine) emerged from 'Samudra Manthan' carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras.
Another legend said: Sixteen-year-old son of King Hima had been forecasted a death by a snake bite which would occur on the fourth day of his wedding. When the day arrived, his wife made a plan to save him from the happening. She did not let him sleep on that day and put piles of beautiful and glittery gold and silver coins along with all her ornaments at the entrance of the chamber where her husband was lying down. She lit all the lamps in the chamber and start narrating stories and singing songs. To keep him awake. When, on the following day, the lord of death - Yama arrived at their door in the form of a serpent to claim the life of the young prince, he was diverted by the glitter of ornaments of gold and silver. This kept him from entering the door of the prince’s sleep chamber, and he stayed there the entire day. He listened to the stories the newlywed wife was narrating to her husband and enjoyed the songs she sang while he was sitting on the top of the heap of gold and silver. As the next day dawned, he merely went away silently. And so, it happened that the newlywed bride was able to save the life of her husband using her wit and intelligence and snatched him from the clutches of the god of death.
Thus, the day came to be celebrated as Dhanteras. The day which follows Dhanteras is known as Naraka Chaturdashi as 'Naraka' means hell while Chaturdashi means fourteenth. There is another name by which the day is referred to – Yamadeepan. Yama is the lord of death and deepens means to glorify him using lamps and lights. The ladies in the house light lamps which burn throughout the night. This day is also known as ‘Choti Diwali’, also called Minor Diwali.
Every year, Indians celebrate Dhanteras with distributing sweets, dry fruits and gifts among friends & family.
Gift giving of Dhanteras holds the utmost significance, especially to the corporate world. From delighting the clients to pampering employees, companies shower Diwali gifts on their employees and wish them with prosperity and good luck. Choosing the best Diwali gifts for employees can be a complex as it must suit their preferences. Among the multitude of gift categories, handicraft items from India are broadly chosen. The reason is pretty simple, they are unique in themselves.
As we heard it many times, Giving gifts is an art, then why not gift something straight from artisans. Yes, Indian handicraft items are the form of gifts that by default goes with every occasion. They offer great quality and more attention to details. They can take you back in the time, reflect the history and sometimes they also reflect the modern age. They are unique in themselves and shows the authenticity lies in you. It indicates you are attached to your roots and in love with your heritage. Handicraft items are your everytime saviour when you look for gifts online and are much better than regular ones.
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