Shukla Tritya Tithi in the Month of Shravana 3rd lunar day in the bright half of the fortnight
Hariyali means green and Teej is the third lunar day. Hariyali Teej is on the third day of the bright half of the North Indian Lunar month of Shravana celebrates the union of Shiva and Shakti. As Shravana (or Saawan) month falls during monsoon when the surroundings become green. It is mainly celebrated by married women for happiness in their marriage and from their children. They receive gifts from their mothers. The women dress up in beautiful clothes like brides and dance and sing.
Goddess Shakti in the form of Devi Sati was the wife of Lord Shiva. Devi Sati’s father Daksha Prajapati was disrespectful towards Lord Shiva. This led to her giving up her life by setting herself ablaze during a yagya at kankhal with a vow that she would take rebirth as the daughter of a father who would respect Lord Shiva. Devi Sati was reborn as goddess Parvati to Himavat, who had the greatest respect for Lord Shiva.
Goddess Parvati is an incarnation of Shakti and Sati. Lord Shiva did not want to marry Parvati because he was in sorrow after the death of Devi Sati. Goddess Parvati decided to undergo a self-imposed penance. For this, she took 108 re-births. Finally, Lord Shiva agreed to marry her and the union of Shiva and Shakti (Parvati) took place after their long separation.
Goddess Parvati on this day promised that any woman who fasts and prays for her husband would gain her blessings and the husband would be blessed with a long and healthy life.
Thus on Hariyali Teej, married women seek the blessings of Goddess Parvati for conjugal bliss and the long life of their husbands, while unmarried women seek her blessings for a husband like Lord Shiva.
How to Celebrate Hariyali Teej
Women fast without water on this day. They dress up like a bride in beautiful green clothes and apply henna on their palms. The colour green is the order of the day and women sport bright green bangles on their wrists. As per tradition, Sindhara, a bucket full of gifts like clothes, jewellery, beauty products and sweets, is given to the married women by their mothers. Newly married women celebrating their first Hariyali Teej go and spend the day at their parent’s house.
The puja is performed in the morning. The evenings are set aside for singing and dancing, including the women's prayers for their husbands' longevity and their families. Another unique practice of this festival is that women sit on swings and imitate their deities. Swings are an intrinsic part of this festival.
In Punjab, The festival lasts for thirteen days starting from Trirtya tithi to full moon in Sharavana (Saawan). Teej involves women getting together and performing gidda (Punjabi dance). Married women visit their families and receive gifts.
by Komila Sutton
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