Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindu communities which is celebrated on the third day of the month Vaishakh, which on the Gregorian calendar lands around April or May. It is a day for Hindus to celebrate the birthday of Lord Parasurama – the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and this day of all days is considered the most prosperous of the year.
The Tradition of Akshaya Tritiya
According to Hindu tradition, Akshaya Tritiya is a day when a lot of “firsts” began. On this day, it is believed that Lord Ganesha and Ved Vyasa began work on writing Mahabharata – an epic poem that is known as the “Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty” in Sanskrit. It is also believed to have been the day when the River Ganges descended from the heavens.
Other traditions state that Goddess Annapurna entered the world on this day and that Lord Krishna gave his money to his impoverished friend Sudama. In the tradition of Jainism, this day is celebrated to commemorate their first god, Lord Adinatha.
Akshaya Tritiya Customs & Celebrations
This holiday has many traditions and celebrations. On this day, those who worship the deity Vishnu often begin this day by fasting. They will then pass out foodstuffs and clothes to the poor. Some of the foods which are often distributed are vegetables and fruits, salt, rice, and ghee. Water that has been infused with the Holy Basil – also known as Tulsi – is sprinkled around to symbolize Lord Vishnu.
This day is often a day in which many people buy gold and gold products such as jewelry. This is because gold is a symbol of wealth and prosperity and those who buy it on this day are considered pious. To increase auspiciousness of things moving forward into the future, people often like to do important tasks on this day. For instance, like planning a long journey on this day or getting married.
It is also a good day to begin building something or for planning business ventures. If a person is born on this day, it is considered to be very auspicious. And for those who live in East India, it is a good day to start planting for the upcoming season. Other traditions which are followed on Akshaya Tritiya include bathing in the Ganges River, meditating, placing barley into a sacred fire and chanting holy mantras.