Hariyali Teej: Why and how we celebrate this day!
It is the happy season of monsoons when a number of festivals are celebrated in the country. In the northern India, Teej is observed with full gusto and fervour. This day is celebrated to welcome the season of monsoon where young girls, as well as married women, actively participate in the festivities. Teej is largely dedicated to the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Interestingly, there are three types of Teej—Hariyali, Kajari and Hartalika. The first one falls on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Shraavana. The second one on the third day of the dark fortnight of Bhadrapada while the last one on the third day of the bright half of Bhadrapada respectively.
This year Hariyali Teej is celebrated on August 5 which derives its name from the fact that during monsoons (Shraavan or Saawan) there is greenery everywhere, therefore it is called Haryali Teej—coming from the word Green (Hariyali).
Married women usually observe fast on this day and await the moon sighting during the night. The legend has it that Hariyali Teej is marked to celebrate the reunification of Goddess Parvati with Lord Shiva. It is this day when Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife (consort).
It is believed that Goddess Parvati practiced austerity for a number of years and observed fast so that she becomes the wife of Lord Shiva. And finally her dedication won over Shiva and she accepted by the supreme lord as his better half in her 108th birth. The goddess is also revered and prayed upon this day as the Teej Mata.
In the northern part of the country, on this day married daughters get many gifts from their mothers. It is the day when gifts float in the form of colourful bangles, new bright clothes, beautiful henna or mehendi. Also, a sweet named 'Ghewar' is sent to the married daughters on this day. All of these gift items are called Sindhara.
Hariyali Teej is largely celebrated in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Chandigarh. Interestingly, on this day women and unmarried girls enjoy swing rides (where jhulas are set up under the trees or in the courtyard), apply mehendi, wear colourful bangles and pray to Goddess Parvati.
Coincidentally, Hariyali Teej and Jhulan festival fall on the same day. The swing festival of 'Jhulan Leela' known as the 'Jhulan Utsav' or 'Hindola Utsav' is related to Lord Krishna and Radha. It is celebrated at the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, also in several other places. The Jhulan festival is on till the Krishna Janmashtami, concluding only after 13 days. This festival is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha whereas on Hariyali Teej Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are revered.
Also, in a diverse land like India, different communities practice different rituals associated with the same festival. Enjoy the essence of this day.
Happy Teej and Jhulan utsav everyone!