The first festival of Diwali, Dhan Teyras falls on triyodashi of Kartik Krishna Paksha, two days before Diwali. Two legends are worshiped on this day. One of Lord Yamaraja, the other of Dhanvantri holding a pot of Amrit (immortal juice). Lord Yamaraj is worshiped to avoid untimely death Dhanvantri is worshiped for good health.
On Dhan Teyras, fast is kept and the worship is done by lighting an earthen lamp on the main entrance of the house and offering water, vermilion, rice, jaggery and flowers to Yamaraj. Dhanvanti is the physician of the gods. He appeared out of the churning of the ocean, as one of the fourteen jewels emerged from the churning. He came out of the sea, holding a pot full of Amrit (immortal juice). He is worshiped on Dhan teyras day, as advised by Yama and in order to be free from disease and fear of death.
On this day, "Bhajans" devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are also sung and "Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds with Jaggery and offer as Naivedya. In villages cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income. In south cows are offered special veneration as they are supposed to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi and therefore they are adorned and worshiped on this day.