Dhanteras is generally considered within the Hindu community as a day that celebrates material abundance and prosperity. This is the day on which the first lamps of Diwali are lit and people hang up paper lanterns with festoons that send out the message of the arrival of Diwali, two days later.
This year, the Goddess Lakshmi will be welcomed into homes on November 11 in most places. A time for family reunions, it is a day of song and laughter and is considered a time most auspicious to make new purchases and investments.According to jewellery designer Queenie Singh this is a day when most women she knows enjoy wearing their traditional attire and jewellery, be they angarkhas, bangles, or bindis. “It’s a joyous and traditional time and the peak season for the jewellery business. Whether it’s jewellery, utensils or a car, it’s a time for investment in something of value for most.”
Fellow jewellery designer Poonam Soni sees the day as a symbol of hope. “The thing women enjoy immensely is shopping for jewellery. And on this day additionally, the jewellery being bought is thought of as a harbinger of good luck. So women end up feeling absolutely gorgeous and are in the best of moods when they set out for their shopping.” The designer says she will be sporting jewellery from her own signature collection on November 11. As far as her personal memories of the day are concerned, she recalls that as a child it was a time of beautiful bonding with her parents and family, when she felt absolutely secure.
Sunil Datwani of Gehna jewellers says that his showroom, like those of most jewellers on the day, is absolutely packed. “It’s the one day in the year that our showroom is open for the longest duration, from 9 am until 11 pm,” he says. “People come in at all times of the day and night, to purchase gold and diamonds from us — if nothing else, at least to buy a simple gold coin as a token.” His showroom has also come up with a full-finger ring in two-tone gold for this year’s Dhanteras, designed by Shaina NC, which he hopes will be a big success.
Jewellery expert Kamlesh Hemdev says that Dhanteras is also a time of the year when he sees a lot of visiting Non-Resident-Indians (NRIs) come in to buy jewellery. “If they’re visiting India around this time, they never miss picking up something beautiful and valuable,” he says. Hemdev who owns a well-known showroom says that some foreign nationals also get into the flow of the season and drop in to buy jewellery.
“We keep our stocks ready two months in advance for this day,” says Kamlesh who views the festival as a priceless family tradition that is handed down from generation to generation.