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Dhanteras 2023: Importance, How to celebrate Dhanteras with children

dhanteras significance

Celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Kartik, Dhanteras has deep cultural significance and is particularly cherished in the Hindu tradition. In this blog, let’s get to know Dhanteras’ meaning, Dhanteras’ significance, importance of Dhanteras, and how to celebrate Dhanteras with children.

Dhanteras Meaning

Dhanteras is derived from the Sanskrit words “Dhan”, meaning wealth, and “Teras”, referring to the 13th day, is one of the most celebrated festivals in the Hindu calendar. It marks the beginning of the five-day festival of Diwali, which is honoured with much fervour and enthusiasm across India and among Indian communities worldwide.

Also Read: Navratri 2023: Story of Navratri for kids and ways to celebrate with them

Importance of Dhanteras

The following reasons are why Dhanteras is important:

Symbolism of Prosperity and Well-being: Central to the theme of Dhanteras is the celebration of wealth and prosperity. It’s believed that on this day, Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda, emerged from the ocean holding the pot of elixir, or ‘Amrit’. This occasion also symbolises the importance of health and well-being, given the association with Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine.

Auspicious Purchases: Buying new things, especially precious metals like gold and silver, is considered propitious on this day. It’s believed that these purchases act as a shield against ill luck and bring fortune in the coming year.

Invocation to Goddess Lakshmi: Devotees light lamps in the evening to ward off evil spirits and to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity. Homes are decorated, and rangoli (a form of art using coloured powders or flowers) is drawn at entrances as an invitation to the goddess.

Celebration of Life and Fortune: Beyond material wealth, Dhanteras is also a celebration of life, fortune, and a fresh beginning. It’s a time to acknowledge the blessings one has received and hope for a prosperous and healthy future.

Also Read: Dussehra 2023: Why do we celebrate Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami?

Dhanteras Significance

Dhanteras holds immense significance in the Indian cultural panorama for several reasons. On Dhanteras, buying gold, silver, and other valuable items is considered auspicious. This act is believed to usher in wealth, fortune, and prosperity into the household, ensuring a year filled with abundance. As the inaugural festivity of the five-day Diwali celebrations, Dhanteras sets the tone for the subsequent festivities, preparing homes and hearts for the grandeur of the Festival of Lights.

Dhanteras Mythology

Among the various legends associated with Dhanteras, two are particularly prominent:

The Churning of the Ocean (Samudra Manthan):

This tale is derived from the ancient Hindu scriptures, particularly the Puranas. The gods (Devas) and demons (Asuras) decided to churn the ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality (Amrit). They used Mount Mandara as the churning rod and the serpent Vasuki as the churning rope. As the ocean was churned, several divine entities and treasures emerged. One of the first to appear was Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda, bearing the pot of Amrit. His emergence is celebrated on Dhanteras, symbolising the discovery of Ayurveda and the healing sciences.

The Story of King Hima’s Son:

Another popular tale associated with Dhanteras is that of a 16-year-old prince, the son of King Hima. His horoscope predicted his death from a snakebite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that particular day, his newly-wed wife refused to let him sleep. She laid all her gold and silver ornaments in a heap at the entrance of their sleeping chamber and lit innumerable lamps around it. She then sang and narrated stories to keep her husband awake. When Yama, the god of death, arrived in the guise of a serpent, he was blinded by the brilliant glare of the lamps and the jewellery. Unable to enter the chamber, Yama climbed on top of the heap of ornaments and listened to the wife’s tales and songs. By morning, having missed the appointed time of the prince’s death, Yama slithered away, granting the prince a long life. This story accentuates the protective power of the glittering precious metals and the importance of warding off death and evil.

These mythological narratives add depth to the festival of Dhanteras, making it not just an event of material celebration but also of spiritual and historical reverence.

Also Read: Krishna Janmashtami 2023 – Know All about the Festival

How to Celebrate Dhanteras with Children

Here are some engaging ways to involve children in the Dhanteras celebration:

Narrate the Legends: Start by narrating the story of Lord Dhanvantari and the churning of the ocean, or ‘Samudra Manthan’. Children love stories, and this tale with gods, demons, and magical potions is sure to captivate their imagination.

Engage in Art and Craft: Let their creativity shine by engaging them in making traditional crafts. They can create diyas (lamps) from clay, decorate them, and then light them in the evening. Making rangoli is another creative activity that children will enjoy. Even if it’s a simple design, the act of playing with colours can be a joyful experience.

Plan a Treasure Hunt: Given the theme of wealth and prosperity, organise a treasure hunt around the house with little surprises and notes. This not only makes the festival fun but also imparts the significance of the day in a playful manner.

Cook Together: Preparing traditional sweets and dishes can be an interactive experience. Guide them in making simple recipes, like besan laddoo or poha. This not only introduces them to the festive cuisine but also to the joy of cooking.

Teach Values through Giving: While Dhanteras celebrates wealth, it’s also an excellent time to teach children about sharing and caring. Encourage them to donate old toys, clothes, or books. This gesture of giving reinforces the idea that prosperity grows when shared.

Shopping with a Purpose: Taking children for traditional shopping can be educational. Instead of just buying gold or silver, consider purchasing something meaningful for them, like a book or an educational toy. This teaches them the value of meaningful purchases over materialistic ones.

A Family Affair: Use this occasion to strengthen family bonds. Organise a family gathering, play traditional games, sing festive songs, and most importantly, narrate personal experiences and stories from your own childhood. This makes children feel connected to their roots and family traditions.

Also Read: Event and Crowd Safety: Staying with the group during events and understanding the importance of meetup points

At EuroSchool, not only do we pass on the cultural legacy but also instil in children the values of gratitude, sharing, and togetherness.

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