New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) Diwali festivities permeated the air of the capital with full vigour as shoppers from the city and surrounding areas today flocked to the main markets on the occasion of Dhanteras, a propitious festival that ushers in the celebrations of the festival of lights and considered auspicious for setting up new businesses, commencing new projects and housewarming.
Big shops did brisk business and earned good profit as in almost every utensils and jewellery shop people were seen jostling with each other making purchases, as buying utensils, gold and silver is considered auspicious on this day which is believed to bring a steady stream of wealth in houses throughout the year.
The shoppers went on spending spree in markets, which also led to traffic hold-ups on most of the roads of the capital.
Jitendar Prasad, a school teacher, said,'' I have witnessed heavy rush on Delhi roads before Diwali on Delhi roads. But it is for the first time that I am seeing such traffic gridlocks before the festival. It took me almost one hour to reach Dhaula Kuan from Sarojini Nagar, the distance which I would have covered in 10 or 15 minutes any other day,'' he fumed.
Markets in South Extension, Karol Bagh, Yusuf Sarai, Bengali market, Chandni Chowk, Kamla Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Sarojini Nagar saw a huge rush of people, with shoppers spending money like water on decorative pieces, new clothes, and electronic equipment.
Talking to UNI at South Extension market, Bhawna Luthra, a housewife, said,'' I have come along with my husband for shopping in a big way. We will today splurge on jewellery, clothes and utensils of course. I am not going to home before night as I have a very long shopping list.'' Even sweet and dried fruit shops were bustling with people as they were seen making last minute big purchases for giving gifts to their relatives and acquaintances.
The Delhi Police also ramped up security in main markets, with dog squads, bomb squads and commandos registering their presence at all vital points of the city.
Most of the people coming out from their offices were also seen beaming as they carried gift-wrapped packets in their hands.
''We are taking no chances and making sure that no untoward incident takes place in the festival season and our personnel are also keeping a close watch on every suspicious movements of people,'' Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told UNI.
The prices of gold and silver have also soared with traders stocking up for consumers out to shop on one of the biggest days for precious metals sales.
Dhanteras, sometimes called as Dhantrayodashi falls on the thirteenth day of the month of Ashwin. 'Dhan' in Hindi means wealth.
This day is specially devoted to worship Goddess Lakshmi. While the preparations for Diwali celebrations are in full swing, Dhanteras appends a new dimension to it.
People have beautified their houses with lights and colors.
Specially the entrances have been decorated with torans on the doors and Rangoli on the floor.
With the kind of fervor Hindus are showing for Dhanteras, it has certainly set a mood for the celebrations of the festival of Diwali.