The Legend of Dhanteras

A particularly lovely story which Will and Guy have learned about, is about the sixteen year old son of King Hima. According to astrology he was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage.

On that particular fourth day of his marriage his young wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid all the ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of her husband's bedroom and lit innumerable lamps all over the place. She proceeded to tell stories and sing songs, determined to do so all through the night.

When Yam, the god of Death arrived there in the guise of a serpent his eyes got blinded by that dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince's chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and coins and sat there whole night listening to the beautiful and melodious songs. In the morning he quietly went away.

Thus the young wife saved her husband from the clutches of death. Since then this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of "Yamadeepdaan" and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Yam, the god of Death.