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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

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.

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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‘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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Saphala Ekadashi: Significance, Celebrations, Rituals, Festival Timings and Dates

Saphala Ekadashi is celebrated on Krishna Paksha in the month of Paush

Saphala Ekadashi: Significance, Celebration, Rituals, Important Dates and Time
Saphala Ekadashi: Significance, Celebration, Rituals, Important Dates and Time, Image Source: wikimedia commons
  • Saphala Ekadasi is one of the most popular festivals observed in India
  • Saphala Ekadasi is a propitious fasting day celebrated on the 11th day of the waning phase of moon also known as “Krishna Paksha”
  • Saphala Ekadashi is celebrated during the month of ‘Paush’ as per the Hindu calendar
  • According to the Gregorian calendar, Saphala Ekadashi is celebrated between the months of December to January
  •  Upcoming Saphala Ekadashi Date and Day: 13th December 2017, Wednesday

About Saphala Ekadashi: The word ‘Saphala’ in Hindi signifies ‘to thrive’ and hence this Ekadashi ought to be seen by any individual who wants achievement and satisfaction in every one of the fields of life. Saphala Ekadashi is along these lines a way to open the entryways of copious, achievement, thriving and fortune. It is praised with incredible energy and eagerness in every one of the edges of the nation. Enormous occasions are sorted out on this day in Lord Krishna sanctuaries as; He is a symbol of Lord Vishnu.

 Significance of Saphala Ekadashi: The significance of Saphala Ekadashi is said as a discussion between Dharamraja Yudhisthira and Lord Krishna in the ‘Brahmanda Purana’. As indicated by the Hindu sacred texts, it is said that even 100 Rajasuya Yagas and 1000 Ashvamedha Yagas are not as advantageous as watching a holy quick upon the arrival of Saphala Ekadashi. The day of Saphala Ekadashi is sacrosanct to Hindus as it is trusted that by fasting earnestly on this day, the fans can wash away their wrongdoings and furthermore appreciate an ecstatic life. Ekadashi is a loved day that happens twice in each lunar Hindu month and is a day committed to worshipping the preserver of this Universe, who is none other than Lord Vishnu.

Saphala Ekadashi celebrations and rituals: Lord Vishnu is the primary idol of the Saphala Ekadashi. Vaishnavas love Lord Vishnu with dedicated hearts to summon His adoration and love. Offering Tulsi leaves to Lord Vishnu on this day is accepted to expel everyone of the wrongdoings of a person. Enthusiasts please Lord Vishnu by offering incense sticks, coconut, betel nut and other fragrant articles. Lighting of diyas amid the night will make it additionally fulfilling.

On Saphala Ekadashi, the devotees who maintain fast, ought not to rest the entire night. They share in different bhajans and kirtan programs in the respect of Lord Vishnu. Aficionados tune in to the popular stories of Lord Vishnu. Toward the end ‘aarti’ is done and later Prasad is circulated among relatives. On Saphala Ekadashi one must give cash, sustenance and different basics to the Brahmins and poor. While keeping the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat, just ‘Saatvik’ sustenance is eaten by the lovers. For individuals who are not proficient to keep the entire quick, can even quick watch halfway quick or quick for simply half day.

Important Timings of Saphala Ekadashi

  • Sunrise: Dec, 07:09 AM
  • Sunset: Dec, 17:43 PM
  • Dwadashi End Moment: Dec, 06:06 AM
  • Ekadashi Tithi Begins: Dec, 00:54 AM
  • Ekadashi Tithi Ends: Dec, 03:32 AM
  • Hari Vasara End Moment: Dec,10:10 AM
  • Parana Time: Dec, 13:30 PM – 15:37 PM

Saphala Ekadashi festival dates between 2019 to 2024

  • 2019: Sunday, 22nd of December
  • 2021: Thursday, 30th of December
  • 2022: Monday, 19th of December
  • 2024: Thursday, 26th of December