Diwali is the biggest and the most-awaited of all the festivals in India. It’s not just a festival of lights but also a festival of carefree indulgence. The mood of the nation turns festive and this lucrative market is captured by every brands with wide array of discounts, offers, new launches, etc. Everyone is on a spending spree to gift their loved ones and indulge in various pleasures like sweets, shopping, socialising, gifting, and most of all – buying gold.
Although, unlike other states in South India, God’s own country as Kerala is famously own do not celebrate Diwali festival traditionally. Nevertheless, the day is considered auspicious in Kerala as it is across the country, and with advent of people from other states to Kerala, celebrating the festival has been quite well adapted.
Tradition and Gold
Buying gold is like a ritual in almost every Indian festival or occasions like weddings. The tradition of buying gold during Diwali has continued for over thousands of years in India and the practise doesn’t seem to fade away in Kerala. Gold is not merely a precious metal in India, or an investment option, but it holds great sentimental value for people here. Jewellery is an integral part of Diwali, and lifts above any other purchases. This yellow metal is considered auspicious and an integral part of the tradition. There is an emotional connect with buying Gold during Diwali.
When it all began
The first day of the five day Diwali celebrations is considered the most auspicious for buying Gold, silver or any kind of wealth like property, new vehicle, etc. This day is called Dhanteras, ‘Dhan’ meaning wealth, and ‘teras’ meaning 13th day as per the Hindu calendar.
According to a proverb, the story of Dhanteras revolves around a 16-year old King and his newly-wed wife. A prophecy had indicated the king will die on the fourth-day of marriage. In order to keep her husband awake and safe, his newly wedded wife is believed to have made a heap of her ornaments, including lots of gold and silver coins at the entrance of the sleeping chamber. She is then believed to have sung songs and narrated stories. The next day, when the God of Death, Yama came to take the king, his eyes were dazzled by the blinding gold and silver. Unable to enter the chamber, Yama climbed the heap of wealth and sat there listening to the songs and stories. Later, Yama is believed to have left silently without taking the king.
From that time onwards, buying gold or silver or even other forms of ‘dhan’ or wealth has been considered auspicious to keep evil and death away.