[This article also appears on CoinWeek.]
Each year, the spring festival known as Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated by Hindus and Jains all around the world.
The beginning of the celebration falls on April 18th (today) this year. As is always the case, the holiday will be accompanied by a surge in gold purchases.
The Akshaya Tritiya Tradition: Lakshmi and Gold
The close connection between religious festivals and buying gold is by no means limited to Jainism and Hinduism. Similar associations exist in traditions in the East and West alike.
(By Ravi Varna Studio [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons)
Nonetheless, this idea is an especially powerful animating force during Akshaya Tritiya. It is seen as a particularly auspicious time for new investments and accumulating wealth.
This is partly because the festival is strongly connected to the goddess Lakshmi.
Lakshmi is the deity associated with wealth, prosperity, and fortune. She is often portrayed with a pot or vessel that is pouring out gold coins, representative of abundance.
Another one of her primary symbols is the lotus flower, a symbol of fortune. Depictions of Lakshmi often show her holding a lotus blossom in two of her four hands.
Thus, it's not surprising that adherents frequently buy gold—whether as a gift for a loved one or simply as a personal investment—in observation of Akshaya Tritiya.
Indian Jewelers Expect Strong Seasonal Demand
Many people have already made their holiday gold purchases ahead of the beginning of the festival. Others prefer to wait until the date of Akshaya Tritiya itself to buy gold or silver bullion, believing that this produces the best results.
As one might expect, jewelers and bullion dealers in India have stocked their inventories in anticipation of the surge in orders.
A wave of optimistic sentiment has been reported by the country's gold jewelry industry. An informal survey of sellers by the All India Gem and Jewelry Domestic Council reveals that demand is expected to jump by 15% to 20% this season.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.