Today is the first day of the celebration of the five days long Diwali festival, Dhanteras!
Dhan stands for Wealth and teras means 13th. Dhanteras is celebrated on the 13th day of the Krishna paksha in the month of Ashwin.Hence the same.
The celebrations are mainly carried out by the Businessmen in the country. People carry out customs and perform Puja on the wealth they posses.
There is a very interesting story in the legends that tell the significance of the festival:
The story of Dhanteras goes back to ancient legends. Centuries ago, there was a king, called Hima. There was a prediction made that the son of the King Hima will die due to snakebite on his sixteenth birthday.
This prediction had scared the king and his wife all the time it was haunting them more than anything. The young prince had gotten married to a pretty girl.
When the day arrives, that is the King hima’s son’s birthday arrived, everybody was very cautious. In order to protect the prince, his newlywed wife did not let him sleep, she gathered all her ornaments and placed them in a heap at the entrance of the sleeping chamber. She kept all the treasures of gold and silver available at the entrance. She lighted up the entire place with lamps so that every nook and corner was visible and there was no darkness anywhere. to keep her husband from falling asleep, She then began to sing songs and recite poems. She feared that he may die if he falls asleep.
When the God of death, Yama came in the guise of a serpent, he could not enter the place. His eyes got blinded by the very bright lamps and the radiance of the jewels and gold. The night passed away and the day broke, the serpent had no other option but to leave. According to the horoscope, the serpent was to bite the prince on that very night only.
Hence the young king was never bitten and survived a long life.
Since then the day has been celebrated by removing all the wealth and placing it outside. Anc Hence Dhanteras is celebrated.