Why Indian people purchase gold on Dhanteras festival

Why Indian people purchase gold on Dhanteras festival
Gold and gold ornaments are something integral to Indian tradition. Gold is considered as a symbol of luck, prosperity, abundance and auspiciousness. In fact people see gold as embodying Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in it.

Indians love gold

Indian households take a sentimental interest in buying gold. India has recently overtaken China in becoming the largest importer of gold on the earth. People consider it auspicious to buy gold on festivals like Makar Sankranti, Dussehra, Navratri, Gudi Parva, Diwali, Akshaya Tritiya and Dhanteras. It is considered highly auspicious to buy gold on Dhanteras. Some of the beliefs attesting this tradition are discussed here.

Shopping for gold on Dhanteras

On the day of Dhanteras, the sale of gold reaches one of its annual peaks in India. The term Dhanteras translates as dhan (wealth) teras (thirteenth day). People buy gold bars, gold ornaments, gold coins silver coins or silver ware on this day.


The legend behind Dhanteras

Once upon a time, there was a king named Hima. He had a son of sixteen years. The king got him married to a girl. Astrologers predicted that the prince would die of snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. This information made the king and the bride misery stricken. The bride was a clever and highly devoted girl. She hatched a plan to save the life of her husband.

Dhanteras is celebrated for the first time

On the day when the astrologers had predicted the death of the boy, the girl collected all the ornaments and gold in the palace and placed them in a heap in front of the main door. She advised the prince not to sleep and sat with him narrating some interesting stories and singing some melodious songs. The couple sat awake throughout the night.

Lord Yama arrives

During the scheduled time of taking the prince’s life, Lord Yama arrived near the palace. He took the form of a serpent which was supposed to bite the prince to death. As the serpent neared the main door of the palace, the heap of ornaments and valuables blocked its way, the dazzling brilliance of the items nearly blinded the vision of the snake. The snake could not enter the palace. Meanwhile, the snake was charmed by the melodious songs sung by the girl. Hence the snake laid there all night long listening to the songs.

The time of death lapses

The time that the planets had scheduled for the prince’s death elapsed and the serpent lost its mood to bite the prince. Lord Yama in the disguise of the snake left the house without taking the life of the prince. Thus, with her clever strategies and devotion to God, the girl could successfully save the life of the prince.

Dhanteras tradition begins

The legend of how the prince was saved from death inspired the tradition of buying gold on the day of Dhanteras. Gold is kept in puja on the day and a lamp known as Yama Deep is lit in front of the main door seeking the blessings of Lord Yama and goddess Lakshmi.