The very first day out of five days celebrations of Diwali is celebrated as Dhanteras. You may recall that at the very outset we have discussed that Diwali main celebration takes place on the Amavasya. The fifteenth lunar day of Krishan Paksh of Kartik month this generally falls during Oct/November. .Dhanteras is formed of two words-that dhan and teras. Dhan denotes wealth. It means the day to worship godess of wealth and Teras is the thirteenth lunar day of Krishan Paksh of Kartik month. As is clear from its name it is symbolic to worship of godess luxmi. People use to purchase ornaments of gold and silver in other words you can say that the day for purchase of costly metals. People who can't afford to purchase gold or silver use to purchase utenciles of petal and steel. Dhan Teras is associated with the business class mostly.
Why Dhanteras is celebrated :
Thre are so many stories behind the concept for celebration of Dhanteras. As Luxmi pooja is the main concept thus houses are well cleaned before this festival. Cleanliness work is finally completed and the main gates/entrances of homes are decorated well with flowers. Mainly the business premises are cleaned and decorated on this day.There is one old mythological story about this festival. One day lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi came to earth while traveling for sometime Lord Vishnu told Goddess Lakshmi that he is going to south direction. He Advised her to not to see on this direction. But Goddess Lakshmi did not follow his advice and stared walking on south direction. When Lord Vishnu saw her coming there, he became angray. He ordered her to work for twelve years in farmer house. After saying this Lord Vishnu went to farmer's house and she worked there for twelve years. From the day Goddess Lakshmi entered his houses, he became rich day by day. In twelve years farmers became on of the richest farmer in the village. Farmer family was very happy. Now lord Vishnu went to farmer's house and asked Goddess Lakshmi to return but farmer stopped her. Then Goddess Lakshmi told farmer that she has been ordered by lord lord Vishnu to work in your house for twelve years. Now her work is complete and she has to leave but she promised the farmer that on dhanteras night who so ever will lit one mud diya in front of my pictures and pray, then. I will come to their houses and she went away with Lord Vishnu.So from that day onwards on every dhanteras night people pray for Goddess Lakshmi.
According to the most famous legend associated with Dhanteras is that Samundarmanthan was done by devils and dietes on this day for getting necter from the ocean he great ocean was churned by the gods and asurs to otain amrit to being everlasting forever. After churning from ocean Dhanwantary -the physician of gods appeared with a n earthen pot in his hands. Elixir was contained in that pot. Since the day is celebrated as the Dhanvantary Troyadashi.
Another story associated with the celebration of Dhanteras is told like that. Once there was a king named Hima. His son was having such nakshatra in his horoscope that he was to die on the fourth day of his marriage due to snake-bite. The king was so much worried. After his son's marriage he told the secret to his daughter in law and requested her to save her husband from snake-bite.Thus on the particular fourth day of marriage the young wife did not allow him to sleep. She placed all her ornaments in the enterance of the room and kept her husband awaked whole night. For the purpose she lighted so many lamps to convert the darkness of night in a day light. She herself remained awakened whole night Singing songs and prayers. When the god of death Yamraj came to the place in the guise of a snake, his eyes were dazzled badly and he remained unable to enter the room and to reach the Prince's chamber. The snake remained sitting on the heap of ornaments and listening melodious songs being sung by prince's wife. And as the dawn lightened the snake left the place quietly and disappeared. In this way the young wife saved her husband from death. Since then the Dhanteras day is also known as Jamdiya day, Kachha Diya Day or yamdeepdan day. Thus according to Hindu mythology people use to lit an earthern lamp and use to put that in the drainage outlet hole of their house.