Dhanteras, celebrated today, marks the beginning of the five day long festival of Diwali.
Dhanteras 2017: Dhanteras, one of the most important festivals among the Hindus, is celebrated today. The festival falls on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Karthik. Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five day long festival of Diwali. People across the country, especially in North India, pray for prosperity, good luck, health and happiness on this day. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, Yama the god of death, Kubera, the god of wealth and Dhanawantri — the deity of health and knowledge, who is an incarnation of Vishnu, are remembered and prayed for on this day. As folklore goes, it is also believed that Goddess Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the milky sea with a pot of gold and wealth on this day. Dhanteras literally means dhan+ teras (wealth and 13th day). On this day people clean and decorate their houses. Also, beautiful rangolis adorn the corners of the houses. Diyas are kept in front of the main gates until morning to keep away evil from the house. Moreover, it is believed that buying silver or gold on this day brings with it luck into the household. Mainly puris and sweets are prepared as offerings to Goddess Lakshmi. A mixture made by mixing equal parts of honey, ghee, sugar, yoghurt and milk called Panchamrit is offered to the deity in some regions.
Here is the Puja Vidhi and Muhurat Timings:
Dhanteras Puja Muhurta = 19:19 to 20:17
Duration = 0 Hours 58 Mins
Pradosh Kaal = 17:45 to 20:17
Vrishabha Kaal = 19:19 to 21:14
Trayodashi Tithi Starts = 00:26 on 17th October, 2017
Trayodashi Tithi Ends = 00:08 on 18th October 2017
Lakshmi puja should be done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset.