Nagpur: Dhanteras marks the start of the big festive week that includes Diwali, chhoti Diwali, Bhai dooj, Govardhan Pooja. People celebrate this festival two days before Deepawali, with great fanfare. On the day of Dhanteras, people burn lamps in front of their houses and buy new jewellery and utensils. There is an interesting story about how this day came to be celebrated.
In ancient times, there was a king named Hem. After several years of marriage, he had a child. When the king asked the astrologers about his son, he was told that the prince would die just four days after his marriage.
On the fourth day of his marriage, his wife spread out all of her adornments and loads of gold and silver coins in a pile at the passage of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps everywhere. She recounted stories and sang melodies to her husband to keep him awake. When Yama, god of Death came, he was amazed and blinded by the brightness of the lights and adornments. He couldn’t enter the prince’s chamber so he jumped over the load of gold coins and sat there, tuning in melodies and stories. In morning, he quietly left and the prince was spared. From then on, Dhanteras started the tradition of burning lamp and buying jewellery.
There are large crowds around shops already, as families buy sweets, gifts, clothes even fire crackers. The festival has begun with the most auspicious occasion of Dhanteras. Since it is considered an extremely auspicious day for making new purchases, especially gold, silver, platinum and even utensils.
By Srishti Talwar