Interesting Facts about Hariyali Teej•
Posted on July 04 2022
The festival is celebrated on the third day of the bright fortnight of the moon in the Hindu Shravan or Sawan. This is why the festival is also known as Sawan Teej. The festival has the same significance as Karwa Chauth for married women although the celebration style is different for both the occasions.
The Hariyali Teej festival is a mark of dedication to Goddess Parvati and celebrates Her union with Lord Shiva. Parvati undertook a severe penance with an austere fast for several years to win over Shiva. The lord finally accepted Her as His better half after a long period of 108 rebirths on earth. This is why Maa Parvati is also popularly called as Teej Mata. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are considered to be an ideal couple in Hindu mythology.
The purpose of the festival is to seek for happiness in the family. Married women undertake the Hariyali Teej fast for the long life and welfare of their husbands and to protect their family members from the evil eye. Unmarried girls observe the vrat to be blessed with a loving and caring husband like Lord Shiva.
Hariyali Teej is celebrations vary from state to state. However, this does not affect the enthusiasm and zeal of the celebrations in any way. There are some things that are a must have to make the festival celebrations whole. These include new clothes, mehendi and colourful bangles for the female members of the family. Food and swings or jhoolas are equally important. The ghevar is a traditional dessert prepared on this day. This is a honeycomb like sweet with a topping of kheer, cream and dry fruits. Some other sweets for the occasion are jalebi, shakkar para and balushahi.
One major aspect that makes the Hariyali Teej vrat observed by married women different from that of the Karwa Chauth is the duration. The teej nirjala vrat without food and water is undertaken after a Sankalp to do a day-long fast after chanting the name of Uma Maheswar. The fast is observed for a longer duration and broken only the following morning after a bath followed by prayers and a pooja.
On the day of Hariyali Teej, womenfolk of the house get up early and have a bath. They dress themselves in traditional dresses of green colour as this is the colour of the festival. They also wear green bangles and adorn themselves with all the 16 adornments or shringara items of a woman. The 16 adornments are supposed to help a woman protect her husband from any form of evil.
Decorating hands and feet with beautiful mehendi designs is an important aspect of the festival. Some ladies also write the names of their loved or dear one with the mehendi on their hands. It is believed that the colour produced from the mehendi is an indication of the love shown by a husband towards his wife. The darker the colour, the more the woman is loved by her husband or fiancé.
The banyan tree also plays an important role in the festival. It is considered to be auspicious to worship the vat vriksha or banyan tree on this day. Swings are also hung from the branches of this tree and women enjoy swinging on the swings.
This day is a day of merry making and enjoyment for women. They assemble together in a group to listen to the stories of Shiva and Parvati. The women also indulge in a lot of singing and dancing to several traditional songs.
Married women are invited by their parents to visit their parental homes with their partners a day before the festival. On this day, the mother-in-law gifts her daughter-in-law with clothes, jewellery, henna, cosmetics and sweets. The following day, on the actual Hariyali Teej day, the daughter-in-law seeks the blessings of her mother-in-law who gives her a gift in return. In the absence of the mother-in-law, her role is performed by the eldest sister-in-law or an elderly lady from the husband’s side. At their parental houses, the ladies are given a gift bucket or sindhara with items like henna, bangles and homemade sweets.
The Hariyali Teej pooja vidhi begins in the early morning hours even before sunrise. Women wake up in the wee hours of the morning during Brahma Muhurat, have a bath and dress themselves in green coloured attire and bangles. This is followed by cleaning the pooja altar with Gangajal and covering it with a fresh white or red cloth. Place idols or pictures of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha on the altar. You can also use a Shiv linga instead.
Keep a lit ghee or oil lamp to the right of the idols. Seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha and keep a kalash with a red and yellow thread wound around it to the left of the lamp. Make sure you put some betel nut and leaves, water, turmeric, mango leaves and kumkum into the pot. Cover the pot with a coconut that has its husk intact.
Take a Sankalp or vow to undertake the fast with utmost sincerity and request the blessings of the deities for the same. Clean your hands and wash the feet of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Offer some vilva patra to Shiva and a rose along with shringar items like kajal, mehendi, bangles etc. to Parvati. After this, offer incense sticks and bhog or neivedya prepared without meat, garlic and onion as prasad. End the pooja by reading the Hariyali Vrat katha and doing an arti in honour of all the deities.
The festival has been given the status of an official holiday in a few states while it is a restricted holiday in other states.
Written by – Deepthi K