Dhanvantari Trayodashi or Dhanatrayaodashi is the festival which lets the five days long celebration of Diwali rolling. Going by the name “Dhan” means wealth and "Teras" means the thirteenth day, this festival is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the month Ashwin to offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi to shower wealth and prosperity on her devotees. People buy metal like brass, gold, silver, electronic items and even vehicles as a tribute to the customary ritual of buying metal on this day.

The first oil lamp of the series of days of Diwali celebrations is lit on Dhanteras with beautiful Rangolis decorating the entrances of households. Sweets, special delicacies and jaggery based prasads are prepared with elaborate pujas held in honour of Goddess Lakshmi. Some people also make footprints of Goddess Lakshmi suing vermilion and flour to symbolize and in a way invite her blessings to their homes and workplaces.

In 2015 it will be celebrated on the Monday 9th November 2015.

Dhanteras Calendar

Year Date
2015 November 11
2016 October 28
2017 October 17
2018 November 5

Legends of Dhanteras

  • Legend has it that the sixteen year old son of King Hima was doomed to die from a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. His wife Savitri was an astute and wise lady, on that particular day she did not let him sleep, but instead laid out all the ornaments, gold and silver at the entrance and started singing to him and telling him tales. She also lighted innumerable lamps all over the place. When Yam, The God and harbinger of death, arrived at the scene in the guise of a serpent, the bright lights dazzled his eyes and he couldn’t see a thing. So he slithered atop the pile of gold and silver and sat there listening to Savitri’s melodious singing all night long. When morning dawned, he quietly went away. In this way, the young wife saved her husband’s life. And it is for this reason that this day is also referred to as Yamadeepdaan, and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Yam, the god of Death.
  • According to another legend, when the gods and the demons churned the ocean in pursuit of the elusive ‘Amrit’ or the nectar of life, they waged a fierce battle against one another. Amidst this chaos emerged Dhanavantri, the physician of the Gods and an incarnation Vishnu, clutching the elixir in his hands and thus ending the fierce battle.

Dhanteras Traditions

  • The day is of great significance to the prosperous mercantile community in Western India. Houses and offices are beautifully decorated and colorful Diwali Rangolis or motifs are made to adorn the entrance in order to welcome the Goddess of wealth and Prosperity, Lakshmi.
  • Small footsteps are drawn all over the house to indicate her long awaited arrival. It is also considered favorable to purchase gold or silver on this day. Even those who cannot afford gold or silver ensure that they at least buy two new utensils.
  • A traditional pooja (prayer) is held in the temples in the evening and people light Diwali diyas (small oil lamps) to ward away evil spirits. People also sing devotional songs called Bhajans in praise of the Goddess Lakshmi.
  • Being a businessman, if you perform the puja on Labh Muhurat, then you may get more benefits. The Shubh Muhurat will help you acquire wealth and keep you in good health. It is believed that worshipping on Shubh Muhurat increases one's longevity. However, Amrit Muhurat is considered as the best time to perform the.

Puja Timings

  • The timings for Dhanteras puja are given below:

Pradosh Kal: This is the time period after sunset and it spans 1 hours and 10 minutes. Deep Dan (placing lamps in front of Yam Dev) and Lakshmi Puja are the special highlights of this festive occasion.

Chaughadia Muhurat: Some of the auspicious timings suggested by astrologers for businessmen to perform a puja on Dhanteras 2015 are:

Pradosh Kaal Muhurat

Dhanteras Puja Muhurta = 19:04 to 20:15

Duration = 1 Hour 10 Mins

Pradosh Kaal = 17:41 to 20:15

Vrishabha Kaal = 19:04 to 21:00

Note - 24-hour clock with local time & DST adjusted for all Muhurat timings (if applicable)

Dhanteras Celebrations

  • "Lakshmi-Puja" is performed in the evenings when tiny diyas of clay are lighted to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. "Bhajans"-devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are sung and "Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds with jaggery and offer as Naivedya.
  • In villages cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income. In south cows are offered special veneration as they are supposed to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi and therefore they are adorned and worshiped on this day. People also exchange exclusive Dhanteras gifts.