Dhanteras is the worship of Dhanvantari. Dhanvantari according to Hindu traditions emerged during Samudra Manthana holding a pot full
of amrita a nectar bestowing immortality in one hand and the sacred text about Ayurveda in the other hand. He is considered to be the
physician of the devas.
The festival is celebrated as Lakshmi Puja which is performed in the evenings when lamps of clay diyas are lit. Bhajans or devotional
songs are sung in praise of goddess Lakshmi and traditional sweets are offered to the goddess. A peculiar custom in Maharashtra exists
where people lightly pound dried coriander seeds with jaggery and offer the mixture as naivedhya.
On Dhanteras homes that have not yet been cleaned in preparation for Diwali are thoroughly cleansed and whitewashed. Dhanvantari the
god of health and Ayurveda is worshiped in the evening. The main entrance is decorated with colorful lanterns holiday lights and
traditional motifs of rangoli designs are made to welcome Lakshmi the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Small footprints are drawn with
rice flour and vermilion powder all over the house to indicate her long-awaited arrival. On the night of Dhanteras diyas lamps are
ritually kept burning all through the night in honour of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.