Dhanteras-Festival of Wealth
The festival of Dhanteras falls in the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov) on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight. This auspicious day is celebrated two days before the festival of lights, Diwali.
On Dhanteras, Lakhsmi the Goddess of wealth is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. It is also the day for celebrating wealth, as the word ‘Dhan’ literally means wealth and ‘Teras’ comes from the date 13th.
In the evening, the lamp is lit and Dhan-Lakshmi is welcomed into the house. Alpana or Rangoli designs are drawn on pathways including the goddess’ footprints to mark the arrival of Lakshmi. Aartis or devotional hymns are sung eulogizing Goddess Lakshmi and sweets and fruits are offered to her.
People flock to the jewelers and buy gold or silver jewelry or utensils to venerate the occasion of Dhanteras. Many wear new clothes and wear jewelry as they light the first lamp of Diwali while some engage in a game of gambling.