Also known as Dhantrayodashi, Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali festival. Hindus worship Lord Kubera — the God of wealth as an age old practice on this day. 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. To pay respect to them, devotees pray to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera on the auspicious day of Trayodashi.
According to Drikpanchang, Dhanteras puja should be done during the pradosh kaalwhich starts after sunset and lasts for two hours and 24 minutes. The best time to start the puja on Dhanteras during pradosh kaal is during sthir lagna. Sthir means fixed or not movable. During this auspicious period, it is said that Goddess Lakshmi stays inside the home; hence it is the best time for Dhanteras Pujan. Vrishabha Lagna is considered as sthir and mostly overlaps with pradosh kaal during Diwali festivity.
Here are the muhurat timings for this year:
Dhanteras Puja Muhurta — 7:19pm to 8:17pm
Duration — 0 hours 58 minutes
Pradosh Kaal — 5:45pm to 8:17pm
Vrishabha Kaal — 7:19pm to 9:14pm
Trayodashi Tithi Starts — 12:26am (midnight) on October 17
Trayodashi Tithi Ends — 12:08am (midnight) on October 18
People clean their houses and decorate it before the evening puja. They also make imprints of little feet with rice flour at the entrance of the house and near the temple. People also deck up the entrance with flowers, colours, rangolis and light up diyas all around the place.
According to Drikpanchang, during the evening prayers, devotees place seven grains in front of goddess Lakshmi’s idol or picture. There is also a custom of buying silver utensils and gold ornaments in order to bring luck and prosperity in the house.