It is a Sanskrit word which is an amalgamation of the words ‘Dhan’, which means wealth, and ‘Teras’, which means thirteen.
Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi and Dhanvantari Trayodashi, is the foremost day of the five-day-long Diwali celebrations. It is considered an auspicious day to buy gold jewellery and new utensils.
As per the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar, in the month of Karthik the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha, the dark fortnight, is celebrated as Dhanteras. It is a Sanskrit word which is an amalgamation of the words ‘Dhan’, which means wealth, and ‘Teras’, which means thirteen.
According to the popular legend of Samudra Manthan, on the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi emerged out of the ocean during sea churning. Therefore, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the day of Trayodashi.
According to another legend, when the Devas and the Asuras performed Samudra manthan for Amrita, which was considered as the divine nectar of immortality, Dhanvantari, the God of medicine and one of the many incarnations of Vishnu, emerged out carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras. Hence, Dhanteras is also celebrated as Dhanvantari Jayanti.
On Dhanteras, people worship Goddess Lakshmi for a prosperous life and well being. In the evening hours, after getting rid of all waste and cleaning the house thoroughly, a lamp is lit to mark the sanctity of the house. Devotional hymns are sung eulogizing the Goddess of wealth and sweets and fruits are offered to her.
Hindus worship Lord Kuber as he is considered a treasurer of wealth and bestower of riches, along with Goddess Lakshmi on Dhanteras.
Generally, most of the Hindus chooe Dhanteras to invest in gold bars or jewellery. Utensils and new clothes are also bought on this auspicious occasion. People flock to the jewellers and buy gold or silver jewellery and utensils to venerate the occasion of Dhanteras. Dhanteras embraces a unique worth for the business communities as they make customary purchases of the valuable metals on this day.
The Indian ministry of Ayush announced that Dhanteras will be observed as National Ayurveda Day. On October 28, 2016, the ministry celebrated it for the first time.