This month is all about festivals this year. Diwali starts with another festival which is Dhanteras. After two days of it, Deepawali or Diwali is being celebrated. Dhanteras is also known as Dhana Trayodashi in which Indian people various things made of gold and silver as it is considered an auspicious day to invest in these metals.
On this day, people worship Dhanvantari who is believed as the father of Ayurveda and the teacher of all the physicians and also Lord Kubera and goddess Lakshmi who are the deities of wealth. Even though this day is noted for buying gold and silver as Kuber and Lakshmi are being associated with it, Dhanvantari is a god of health.
The historical significance of Dhana Trayodashi:
There is a story from which the festival of Dhanteras is being originated. It is said in the Vedas that goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of milk with a pot of gold while the sea was being churned. She came out along with lord Kuber. This is why both they both are worshipped on Dhanteras.
The celebration of Dhanteras:
As this day is related to wealth and prosperity, people all around India celebrated it by decorating or renovating their houses and offices with flowers and artificial decoratives to invite the goddess. A lot of people even draw small footprints with rice flour and vermilion (sindoor) powder which are the significance of Goddess Lakshmi coming to their residence.
Not only the precious metals, but many people also buy utensils made of metal as it is believed as a good luck. In the evening of Dhanteras, people do Lakshmi Puja in their house where Diyas' or clay pots are lit with oil and along with that devotional songs are sung to welcome the goddess. A special kind of Prashad that is offered to the goddess, especially in Maharashtra, includes pounded coriander seeds mixed with jaggery[gudd].
All of this is done to make the goddess of wealth and health happy...and a Happy Dhanteras to one and all!