The appeal of Akshaya Tritiya is still strong, with people buying gold, diamond and silver jewellery with much fervour on this day. What special significance does Akshaya Tritiya hold?

Uthra Nagarajan

It might well be the day when the most amount of gold is sold in the Indian subcontinent. Akshaya Tritiya has for long held that special place in the Indian household as the most auspicious day to buy gold, silver and diamond.

While thousands crowd jewellery stores across the country, the tradition of Akshaya Tritiya is replete with rich culture and history.

The concept of buying gold on this day, which is believed to multiply and bring prosperity, started only in the late 90s.

Initially, the day of Akshaya Tritiya was more about being charitable. “According to the vedas and shastras, gold was considered equivalent to a human being,” says Rajagopala Ganapatigal. “And hence, when someone gave away gold to charity, it was believed that their possessions would multiply. Being charitable, with a sense of humility should be practised on this day to reap big benefits.”

Celebrated in the shuklapaksha of vaisakh month, Akshaya means undiminished and tritiya refers to the third day of the lunar fortnight.

Golden tales

The practise of buying gold on this day began in the late 90s. Prince Jewellery was a pioneer in advertising and attracted huge crowds to buy jewellery on this day. Princeson Jose, Managing Director, Prince Jewellery, has an interesting anecdote to narrate. “Initially, none of the gold merchants knew anything about the significance of Akshaya Tritiya,” he says. “Around 1998-99, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, our store was packed to the hilt. People came to the showroom till midnight.

On asking a few customers, we learnt that it was the most auspicious day to buy gold, silver and diamond as whatever bought on this day was believed to multiply and flourish. It is also believed that the Sun and the Moon have equal strength on this day.”

Prince Jewellery was the first to recognise the importance of this day and capitalised on it. They began advertising to promote the day of Akshaya Tritiya. Many other retail jewellers followed suit.

“The World Gold Council popularised this day more and people all over the country came to know about the auspiciousness of the day,” explains Princeson. “People from every nook and corner, especially from villages came to the city to buy gold. And in those days, there were long queues of people waiting to buy.” Princeson also points out that yellow colour is considered auspicious for advertisements and a lot of yellow can be seen during this time.

Staying true to its significance, many customers regularly buy gold on this day. Uma Mohan, a resident of Poes Garden, Chennai and a regular gold buyer rightly says that there is an air of excitement when Akshaya Tritiya approaches. “I am quite a fan of collecting different types of jewellery,” she says. “I like keeping up with the latest jewellery trends and the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya is a happy coincidence to buy. With the marriage season fast approaching and gold being considered an auspicious metal, one can be sure that this trend will never go out of style.”