As October approaches to an end, the festival of Dhanteras is right around the corner. The festival is celebrated by the people as they follow the practice of buying utensils and jewelry during that day. Many families also celebrate by decorating their houses by making colorful Rangoli and also brightening up their homes with lights.
This year, the festival will fall on October 22, which according to the Hindu calendar will be the thirteenth day of the month of Krishna Paksha. To understand the historic significance of the festival, let us look at why it is celebrated.
History of Dhanteras
The story of the genesis of Dhanteras dates back to ancient times when the son of king Hima was born. According to legends, during the birth of Hima’s child, the astrologers prophesied after looking at his son’s horoscope that his son will die at the age of 16 from a snake bite. The king had concocted a plan to avoid his son’s death as he found a girl with a lucky horoscope to marry his son.
According to legends, the wife of the son, on the prophesied date of Hima’s son’s death, put out all of her jewelry and ornaments of gold and silver coins in front of the door along with a lot of lamps. The wife didn’t stop at that, she also didn’t let her husband, Son of Hima, sleep as she kept him up by telling him tales and singing songs to him.
The legends say, the god of death did pay a visit in the avatar of a snake however failed to reach the son of Hima as the snake got distracted by the gold ornaments and silver coins and more kept in front of the door. The snake slithered up the top of the things of gold and silver and from there indulged in listening to the tales and singing of the wife.
After being entertained by the bride’s singing and her tales the whole night, the snake went away as Hima’s son didn’t live up to the prophecy of his death. The bride saving King Hima’s son came to be known as Dhanteras.
Significance of Dhanteras
The followers of the ritual participate in worshiping Dhavnatari, who is an avatar of God Vishnu. According to legends, during the churning of the ocean of ocean, Dhanvantri came out holding a jar of the Amrit elixir on the day of Dhanteras which is the reason why followers practice the worship of God Dhavnatari.