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‘Dhanteras’: The Vibrantly Celebrated Hindu Festival Marks the Start of Diwali Celebrations

The 13th lunar day of “Krishna Paksha” sees the pompous celebration of the auspicious ‘Dhanteras’ or “Dhantriyodashi" which heralds the 'Diwali' festival

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Dhanteras
Rangolis and Diyas on the Occassion of Lakshmi Puja in Dhanteras. Wikimedia
  • The term ‘Dhanteras’, “Dhan” denotes wealth and Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on this day to gain wealth, prosperity, and well-being
  • To mark the celebration of ‘Dhanteras’ the households along with the business premises are wonderfully decorated and adorned with colorful traditional “Rangoli” designs
  • Everyone throngs to the market to buy gold or ornaments in order to bring good luck in the form of wealth

October 27, 2016: India is a land of vibrant colors and majestic festivities. Multiple celebrations and festivals are celebrated throughout the year, all around the nation. The traditions, the heritage, the celebrations are a major part of what defines our country and glorify India.

One of the oldest celebrations is the ‘Dhanteras’ celebration. This ancient festival marks the beginning of the much awaited and widely celebrated ‘Diwali’ festival. On the Hindu month of ‘Kartik’ i.e. October-November, the 13th lunar day of “Krishna Paksha” sees the pompous celebration of the auspicious ‘Dhanteras’. It is also referred as the “Dhantriyodashi” or the “Dhanwantari Triyodashi”.

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Meaning and the Traditions:-

In the term ‘Dhanteras’, “Dhan” denotes wealth. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on this day to gain wealth, prosperity, and well-being. ‘Lakshmi Puja’ is performed during the evening and according to Hindu myths- tiny “Diyas” (lamps) made of clay are brightly lit in order to drive away the evil-spirits! Following this day, the whole country gets illuminated with “diyas” on the occasion of the festivity till Diwali to ward off the evil from the earth.

Dhanteras
Goddess Lakshmi. Wikimedia commons

On the day of ‘Dhanteras’, it is considered extremely auspicious to purchase silver or gold items and new articles or utensils. According to the Hindus, “Dhan” or wealth in the form of brand new gold or silver made items will usher good fortune in life! Therefore, along with the ritual of “Lakshmi Puja”, another important custom is buying ‘wealth’ on ‘Dhanteras’.

Legends and History:-

The celebration of the auspicious ‘Dhanteras’ has some legends behind it. One of them is the story of the son of King Hima. It is said that the prince was doomed that he would die of a snake bite on the 4th day of his marriage. To prevent that, the wife of the young prince lit up innumerable lamps all around the place and kept a myriad of ornaments and wealth designed in a heap while keeping the prince young with her melodious songs.

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As ‘Yama’, the lord of death tried to enter in the disguise of a serpent in the prince’s chamber, he was blinded by the shimmer and dazzle of the brilliancy of the shining lamps and the wealth. He tried to approach further from the top of the heap but was mesmerized by the music and kept listening. The night passed and he had to go away without taking the prince. Since then, this very day came to be referred as “Yamadeepan” and the lamps are kept burning bright all through the night in reverential admiration of the lord of death.

Preparations and Celebrations:-

To mark the celebration of ‘Dhanteras’ the households along with the business premises are wonderfully decorated and adorned with colorful traditional “Rangoli” designs. To indicate goddess Lakshmi’s arrival and decorate the houses tiny footprints are painted with vermilion powder and rice flour. Devotional songs are sung and brightly lit lamps are kept to burn through the night. “Naivedya” or sweets are offered to the goddess. Maharashtra observes the custom of offering coriander seeds with jaggery as the “naivedya”. Everyone throngs to the market to buy gold or ornaments and the festival is celebrated with vigor and spirit.

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Dhanteras
‘Naivedya’, offered on the Puja. Wikimedia commons

This year, the festival is on 28th October and about to be celebrated with pomp and spirit. ‘Dhanteras’ heralds the famous ‘Diwali’ and the day of ‘Dhanteras’ keeps on being one of the glamorously celebrated, much awaited and adored festival of India.

-by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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7 Most Beautiful Goddess Lakshmi Temples of India

On this Diwali Day, aware yourself of the most beautiful Goddess Laxmi Temples ensembled in India and keep up your beliefs on the almighty

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Sripuram Golden Temple.
Sripuram Golden Temple. Wikimedia

Goddess Laxmi is one of the principal deities of Hindu religion. She is the goddess of destiny, wealth, and prosperity. The goddess is also worshipped by Jains and Buddhists.

On the eve of Diwali, we bring you the most beautiful Goddess Lakshmi Temples situated all over the India.

Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore

Goddess Lakshmi
Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore. Wikimedia.

Sripuram Golden Temple is one of the biggest temples in India, this Lakshmi temple is dedicated to the worship of the goddess. It is situated on a hill called Malaikodi, located in Vellore of Tamil Nadu.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir), Delhi

Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir), Delhi. Wikimedia.

Birla Mandir situated in New Delhi is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Vishnu. One popular fact about this temple is that it was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. Hundreds of devotees visit Birla Mandir during festive occasions including Diwali.

Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai

Goddess Lakshmi
Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai. Wikimedia.

Mahalakshmi Temple is an ancient temple of the goddess Lakshmi. It is situated in Mumbai. and has an interesting story behind it. After the wall of Hornby Vellard collapsed twice, the engineer dreamed of the goddess of wealth. On this very, location a statue of the goddess Lakshmi was found. Hence, the statue was put up and a temple was built.

ALSO READ: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Lakshmi Devi Temple, Hassan

Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi Devi Temple at Hassan. Wikimedia.

Goddess Lakshmi temple in Doddagaddavalli relates the period of Hoysalas in Karnataka. It is one of the earliest architectural temples of Hoysala style.

Ashtalakshmi Temple, Chennai

 

Goddess Lakshmi
Ashtalakshmi Temple Chennai. Wikimedia.

Ashtalakshmi Temple is famous for various shrines of goddess Laksmi which depict all 8  forms of Lakshmi Devi. The temple is located near Elliot’s beach of Chennai.

Kaila Devi Temple, Karauli, Rajasthan

Wikimedia
Kailadevi Temple Rajasthan. Wikimedia.

Kaila Devi is regarded as an incarnation of Mahalakshmi or the Wealth Goddess. This temple situated in Karauli District of Rajasthan.

Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi Temple

Goddess Lakshmi
Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi Temple.Wikimedia.

Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi Temple is an extremely popular Mahalakshmi temple built up in Tumkur District, Karnataka. The worshipped idol of Mahalakshmi is believed to have originated on its own.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Diwali Puja 2017: Everything You Need To Know About Timings, Muhurat

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Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped
Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped by devotees on the day of Diwali. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 18, 2017: Diwali is around the corner and everyone is busy with the preparations. On the eve of Diwali, the most important ritual is to perform Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja during the right muhurat (time) and with the right rituals(vidhi).

Here are some of the things you must take care of:

Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja Rituals

It is important that on the day of Diwali, you wake up early in the morning and pay homage to your ancestors and worship gods of your family. It is advised to observe a day-long-fast until the Ganesh-Lakshmi puja is performed in the evening.

Kalash pujan
Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja kalash. Wikimedia

Preparations For Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja

Families can embellish their home and office with Asoka and Marigold flowers, banana and mango leave on the day of the puja. Mangal Kalash covered with unpeeled coconut should be placed at both side of the main entrance of your house.

For puja preparation, place at the right hand side a red cloth on a hoisted platform and put in idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on it after gracing them with jewellery and clothes. Once this is done, Navgraha gods must be placed on the left hand side on a hoisted platform under white cloth. Prepare carefully nine slots of Akshata (unbroken rice) for placing Navgraha on white cloth and sixteen slots of wheat must prepared for the red cloth. You should perform puja with all the important rituals.

Idols of Ganesh-lakshmi are being worshipped on the eve of Diwali. Wikimedia

Timings (Muhurat) for Lakshmi Puja

Pradosh Kaal muhurat is the time during which puja needs to be performed. It starts after sunset and lasts for about 2 hours and 24 minutes. Goddess Lakshmi will stay in your home if you perform Lakshmi puja in the Pradosh Kaal when it is Sthir Lagna time. Sthir refers to ‘immovable.’  Before you do the puja, make sure you find out Pradosh Kaal (time) for your city or area. It is important that you know the right time to perform the puja.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar

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Diwali 2017: Significance of the Diwali, Celebrations & Rituals, Date & Diwali Recipes

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Diwali
Deepawali 2017: 19th october'2017
  • Deepawali or Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals.
  • Diwali or Deepawali is the festival of lights: “Deep+awali”: deep means “light” and awali “a row,” so, deepawali means “a row of lights”.
  • Diwali is marked by four days of celebration, which literally illuminates the country with its brilliance and dazzles all with its joy.
  • The Diwali festival occurs in late October or early November. It falls on the 15th day of the Hindu month, Kartik, so it varies every year.

About Diwali:

Diwali (Deepawali) is considered to be the most significant festival in India. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil and the power of  light over darkness. The preparations of Diwali starts days before in which people clean their houses and offices and decorate them with lights and Diyas ( oil lamps) .

When is Diwali? – Diwali 2017 falls on 19th October 2017

Significance of Diwali

Diwali marks the homecoming of Lord Rama with his wife Sita after killing the evil king Ravana. He was sent to 14 – year – exile by his father, King Dushrath during which he was wandering in forests and villages of India. On this special occasion of his return to ayodhaya, the capital of Lord Rama, people decorated the whole kingdom with oil lamps and busted crackers with joy.

Diwali Celebrations and Rituals

On this auspicious occasion of diwali people welcome goddess Laxmi in their houses by lighting traditional earthen Diyas ( oil lamps) , making colorful rangoli , decorating house with flowers  and placing paduka (footsteps of goddess Laxmi)  at the entrance. Also there is a tradition of exchanging gifts and sweets with friends and family and donating food and goods to the needy. People wear new clothes and prepare tasty sweets and food delicacies at their home. At night Laxmi Puja takes place for the wealth and prosperity in the house after which people go outside to fire crackers and enjoy the festival.

Special Recipe to Serve on Diwali

With the joy of festival and stress free work schedules we often forget to keep check on our weight and calorie intake. And thanks to the goodies we receive and sweets which we make at home containing loads of sugar. To avoid the unnecessary weight gain and calories , here is a mouthwatering yet low calorie recipe of Oats Laddu which you can easily prepare at home this Diwali.

Ingredients:

  • Dates – ½ Cup
  • Oats – ¼ Cup
  • Cashew nuts – ¼ Cup
  • Almonds – ¼ Cup
  • Dry Coconut – ¼ Cup (shredded)
  • Powdered Sugar as per taste
  • Green Cardamom Powder – ½ tsp
  • Ghee as required

Preparation:

  1. Remove seeds from dates and chop them.
  2. Dry roast oats, cashew nuts and almonds, shredded coconut separately.
  3. Coarsely grind dates, oats, cashew nuts and almonds separately.
  4. Heat pan and add 1 tbsp ghee.
  5. Now add ground oats, cashew nuts, almonds, shredded coconut, green cardamom powder. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes on slow flame. Stir continuously.
  6. When the mixture starts to come together switch off the flame.
  7. Transfer the mixture into the large mouth bowl and add powdered sugar and some ghee (if required for binding). Mix well and allow this mixture to cool down.
  8. Shape the mixture into small balls like laddu and serve.

 

Gift Ideas for Diwali

There is an old tradition of exchanging gifts on Diwali with our family and friends as it adds to the happiness of our loved ones. Here are some of the unique gift items which you can gift to your close ones:

Personalized gift items: Colorful earthen pots, diyas, mugs and cushions designed with your choice of painting and colors can be a cool gift for your friends and family.

 Diwali cupcakes: Sweet with a message can be a unique gift for your loved ones. You can gift a box of cupcakes with Diwali theme running through them to your friends.

Online gift vouchers: You can gift your friends online shopping gift vouchers of leading online shopping portals like Amazon , Flipkart , Snapdeal , Jabong and many others to treat them with gift products of their own choice.

Prepared by Pragya Mittal | Twitter @PragyaMittal05