Chennai, Oct 26. : 'Dhanteras, an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar, witnessed a low turnout of people in Chennai. On this day Hindus visit markets to buy utensils and other metals.
Many people said the low enthusiasm could be because of inflation and global financial crisis, which is affecting India as well.
According to the rituals, on this day, which falls a few days before Diwali (falling on October 28), people buy precious metals like gold, silver coins and utensils as it is believed that purchasing metal on this day brings in good fortune and wealth.
But the global economic meltdown has affected business adversely as many buyers have incurred heavy losses in the stock market and the rest are bearing the brunt of inflation.
In Chennai, the shops wore a weary look as few people went for shopping.
"We are offering unique things like clothes made out of gold, be it shirts, skirts. Not only yellow gold you will also find pink gold and white gold, which being true colours of alloy will not fade off. They are very stylish," said Anjali, proprietor, Belamore Gold Business, Chennai.
The shoppers even said that the sky rocketing prices have burned a hole in their pockets because of which shopping is sluggish. "Due to the high prices of commodities the crowd is less," said Anand, a shopper in Chennai.
Even in Mumbai the shopkeepers complained of losses because of inflation.
Though the market bore a colourful look with colourful lampshades, earthen lamps, pots and idols on display the zing was missing amidst the shoppers.
Dhanteras festival, also known as "Dhantrayodashi" or "Dhanwantari Triodasi", falls on the auspicious thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Ashwin (October or November).
"Dhan" stands for wealth. On Dhanteras, the "Owl" form of the Goddess Laxmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well-being.
Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to customary purchases of precious metals on this day. However, it was a disappointment for most of the shopkeepers this year.