THE auspicious festival of gold, Akshaya Tritya falls on May 16th this year, and is considered to be one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. This is a day when most individuals buy gold in any form. It could be a simple gold coin or even the most expensive necklace in the gold house, but buying a piece of gold is important on this day.

The word Akshaya is derived from Sanskrit and means “one that never diminishes”. This can be referred to the quality of gold, which never diminishes in colour or quality even after several decades. While the trend had not set in so much a few years ago, today it is a priority for any individual to buy gold on this day.

In the Hindu tradition, wealth is considered as Goddess Lakshmi. And since gold is wealth, buying gold on Akshaya Tritya is considered to be welcoming the goddess into the household for prosperity.

It is also a well known fact that gold has been part of Indian culture for centuries, and we are the largest consumer of gold in the world. Even more than fixed deposits, is the investment in gold, which is considered to be prestigious in any family. Plenty of gold is bought in any household that has a girl baby, to save the wealth for her wedding day.

It is also a general perception among most men, that women look the best wearing gold jewellery. While plenty of people seem to think wearing gold jewellry is dying with the current generation, it is not so. Young women today still consider wearing gold on all the important festivals important in the Hindu tradition. Light weight jewellery finding its way into the market from various gold houses, has also helped the younger generation looking at wearing gold for various occasions.

Gold is bought on this day, because of the divine quality it has. Most goddesses wear gold jewellery, and thus gold is also known as the metal of the gods. This is most often treated as a rare and sacred metal. Besides this importance religious significance, gold also has great cultural value in India. Most festivals revolve around wearing gold jewellery, and no wedding is complete without the use of gold ornaments.

This year as Akshaya Tritya approaches, and with the wedding season in full swing as well, the jewellery shops are sure to see plenty of new as well as regular customers. And business will see a big boom, irrespective of the meteoric rise in prices. While a few years back, one gram of gold could be bought for Rs.450, today customers don't mind shelling out Rs.1700 for a single gram of gold.

The demand for gold in India is more than ever, despite the rising prices. And the demand will continue to stay, because of the deeply religious and cultural values attached to this rare metal.

With designers bringing in fresh designs every month to gold houses, this Akshaya Tritya will also see record sales in gold all across India.

Swarupa Pillaai