Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day festival, 'Diwali.' As 'Diwali' falls on 11 November this year, Dhanteras will be celebrated on 9 November.
This is the Hindu festival which is seen as the lucky day to purchase new things, especially gold. On Dhanteras, goddess Lakshmi is worshipped to gain prosperity and well being. It holds great significance mostly in the business community.
Also, Kubera, the god of assets and wealth is worshipped on this day.
Dhanteras falls on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight. However, the meaning of this festival is hidden in its name itself. 'Dhan' means wealth and 'Tera' signifies the thirteenth day.
On Dhanteras, Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new 'Dhan' or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck.
'Lakshmi Puja' is performed in the evenings when tiny diyas (earthen lamps) are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits.
Dhanteras is also known as 'Dhantrayodashi,' and takes place two days before Diwali, in honour of Dhanavantri, the physician of the gods and an incarnation of Vishnu.
Check out some picture greetings in the above slideshow.