On Dhanteras, Lakshmi – the Goddess of wealth – is worshipped to provide prosperity and well being. It is also the day for celebrating wealth, as the word ‘Dhan’ literally means wealth and ‘Tera’ comes from the date 13th (trayodashi in Sanskrit and Teras in Hindi). In the evening, the lamp is lit and Dhan-Lakshmi is welcomed into the house. Alpana or Rangoli designs are drawn on pathways including the goddess’ footprints to mark the arrival of Lakshmi. Aartis or devotional hymns are sung eulogizing Goddess Lakshmi and sweets and fruits are offered to her. People flock to the jewellers and buy gold or silver jewellery or utensils to venerate the occasion of Dhanteras.
On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck. “Lakshmi Puja” is performed in the evenings when tiny Diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. “Bhajans”, devotional songs in praise of Goddess Lakshmi, are also sung.