An auspicious day for shopping! That is the significance behind Dhanteras. Especially in the north and western parts of India, it is almost mandatory for households to bring in something new into the household. In actuality, this is day that shopping for Diwali commences. People buy new clothes, household articles, utensils, invest in new ventures, vehicles, and above all, try to buy a precious item like gold or silver on this day. Buying gold on this day is a traditional manner of encouraging investment in the precious commodity; a prudent investment for the future. In fact, if not ornaments, many householders buy gold coins as these can be converted later into ornaments or even cashed in for something better at a later stage.
'Dhan' refers to wealth while 'trayodashi' means thirteenth day. Therefore, Dhanteras is literally translated as 'wealth on the thirteenth day'. On this day, prayers are offered to the goddess Lakshmi, asking her for her blessings and to provide prosperity in all business endeavours for the coming year. The purchase of new 'dhan', especially in the form of a precious metal is said to bring good luck to the home.
The day is religiously linked to the churning of the ocean (samudramanthan), by the Gods and Asuras for procuring nectar. The churning gave forth a number of celestial beings and items. Amongst them were Dhanvantari – the God of healing and Goddess Lakshmi. Bringing 'Lakshmi' home in the form of gold or silver is considered very propitious and it is believed to set a positive trend for the forthcoming year. This day also has a charming story associated with it. Legend has it that the sixteen year old son of King Hima was destined to die on the fourth day after his marriage. However, his young wife refused to accept this fate for her husband and on that day, she did not allow her husband to sleep. At the entrance of her husband's chamber, she spread out dazzling ornaments, and a horde of silver and gold coins. The entire room was brightly lit with a large number of lamps. The wife kept her husband entertained all night with songs and stories. When Yama, disguised as a serpent arrived at the chamber, he was distracted and blinded by the dazzling brilliance of the lights and mesmerised by the melodious songs the wife sang. When the next day dawned, he left quietly, without killing the Prince. Thus, the wife saved her husband. Consequently, Dhanteras is also referred to as Yamadeepdan and in honour of the Lord Yama, lamps are lit and left burning throughout the night. In some regions, on this night, people light lamps and float them down a river, in memory of their ancestors. After gold and precious commodities, hot on the general Dhanteras shopping list are clothes and household goods. Many shops and brands have seasonal sales this time of the year.
A lot of furnishings, home appliances and electronics stores have various offers and discounts worth checking out, making this a good time invest in expensive household gadgetry. A popular branded store, Hayagriva has come out with some great discounts and a load of free goodies on the purchase of electronic and home appliances. In addition, the store also has cash-back and gifts to try and win through scratch cards. With the opening of their fifth store on Seetammadhara Main road, the store has now caters to many more areas in the city.
In time for the festivities, Kankatala, opened its fifth showroom at Jagadamba Junction, Visakhapatnam on 30th October. Sri K Rosaiah, the Governor of Tamil Nadu in the presence of Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Nalli Kuppusamy Chetty, Mavuri Venkata Ramana, Mallik Kankatala the Chairman of the store and other dignitaries of the city, inaugurated the store. With a whole additional range of designer saris, traditional wear and contemporary styles, the store provides the same quality and range that has always been associated with the name. And making the festive season all the more festive and merrier, they are offering an inaugural offer of 20% discount on the entire range. Religion, tradition or just an excuse to shop, Dhanteras is definitely a good day to consider investing if only for the discounts and free offers that promise the customer more than he is paying for.