The second day of the Diwali is called Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi. The festivities of the Diwali start with Vasubaras which continues the next day with the Dhanteras. The word “Dhanteras” is a combination of the word Dhan and Tera which means wealth and thirteen respectively. The Dhanteras falls on the month of Kartika on the thirteenth day. On this day, the Hindus worship Lord Kubera who is known as the lord of the wealth. It is believed that when the gods and demons were churning the ocean for the nectar among the things that came out from the ocean Goddess Lakshmi was one among them. The Goddess appeared with a pot of gold in her hand. Thus on this day, the Hindus worship Lord Kubera along with Goddess Lakshmi to gain wealth and prosperity.
The Drikpanchang, suggests that the Dhanteras pooja should be done during the muhurat of Pradosh Kaal which begins after the sun sets and it usually lasts for an hour or so. The shubmuhurat for the pooja to start is during the Sthir Lagna which comes in the Pradosh Kaal. The literal meaning of the word Sthir is fixed or unmovable. It is believed that during this period, Goddess Lakshmi stays within the house thus the pooja is done during this period.
The people clean their houses and decorate it for the festival of Diwali in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. At some places mostly the temples, imprints of little feet with the rice flour is made at the entrance resembling the footprints of Goddess. The houses are decorated with new paints, flowers, rangolis, and earthen lamps are lit up everywhere.
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Among the rituals, the devotees also place seven grains in front of the Goddess idol and some of them purchase gold jewelry and silver utensils in order to bring prosperity into their house.
Below are the muhurat timings for the Dhanteras this year:
Dhanteras Puja Muhurta — 7: 19 pm to 8: 17 pm
Duration — 58 min
Pradosh Kaal — 5: 45 pm to 8:17 pm
Vrishabha Kaal — 7: 19 pm to 9: 14 pm
Trayodashi Tithi Starts — 12: 26 am (midnight) on October 17
Trayodashi Tithi Ends — 12: 08 am (midnight) on October 18