The word ‘Dhanteras’ is made from two Sanskrit words: ‘Dhan’ meaning wealth, and ‘teras’ meaning 13th day as per the Hindu calendar. Dhanteras is celebrated two days before Diwali - the festival of lights.
But did you know that it is the biggest gold buying occasion for jewellery, coins, and bars, in the country?
Let’s dig deeper to know how exactly the ritual of buying gold on Dhanteras came into being.
According to an old legend, an interesting story about the curse on King Hima's son is attached to Dhanteras. The curse on King Hima's 16-year-old son was such that he was destined to die on the 4th day of his wedding. Having known about this curse, the Prince’s wife came up with a plan to save her husband. She requested her husband to not sleep on the 4th day of their wedding. She stacked up all the gold and other ornaments and coins she could find in front of the door to her husband’s chambers. She also lit as many lamps as she could all around the house. She then sat and narrated various songs and stories throughout the night to keep her husband from falling asleep. Soon, Lord Yamraj came for King Hima’s son in the form of a snake. But the radiant shine from the different ornaments, lamps, and coins, blinded him, and he couldn’t enter the chambers. Instead, he sat on top of the stack of ornaments and heard all the different melodious songs the son’s wife was singing. When morning came, Yamraj left without causing any harm to the Prince.
Since then, Dhanteras is also known as ‘Yamadeepdaan’. In the memory of the God of Death, Yamraj. People keep their homes lit with lamps throughout the night. This is also one of the reasons why people buy ornaments or coins made of gold on Dhanteras. Dhanteras is a festival for all, but it is very important to the entire community of businessmen who invest in gold.Dhanteras usually falls a day before Lakshmi Puja, and is said to be the day Goddess Lakshmi showers her blessings on all devotees. Buying new things or gold is considered a way to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Lord Kubera, the God of Wealth is also worshipped on this day. In fact, devotees perform a Kubera-Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras. It is believed that buying gold - ‘Dhan’- is a sign of good luck. Which is why people buy gold jewellery or gold coins which have pictures of Goddess Lakshmi or Lord Ganesha on them.
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