India is a country known for its diversity. Throughout the year, there are different festivals celebrated by varied communities. Today happens to be Haryali Teej—A festival mainly celebrated in Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati's union, Haryali Teej is celebrated to welcome the season of monsoon. Young girls, as well as married women, participate in the festivities and are in a cheerful mood all day.
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 3. During monsoons (Shraavan or Saawan) there is greenery everywhere, therefore the festival is called Haryali Teej—coming from the word Green (Hariyali).
Here are the Tritiya timings, according to drikpanchang.com:
Tritiya Tithi Begins - 01:36 AM on Aug 03, 2019
Tritiya Tithi Ends - 10:06 PM on Aug 03, 2019
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.
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 was 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.
It is to be noted that different communities practice varied rituals associated with the same festival.
Happy Teej, everyone!