Hariyali Teej is the fun filled and colorful festival celebrated by women, married and unmarried both, in green colored clothes.
This festival is mostly observed in the north Indian states such as- Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. It is a day when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped, either for happy conjugal life or for a good marriage for unmarried women.
The Hariyali Teej falls on the 3rd day of the shukla paksha of the month of Shravan as per Hindu traditional calendar. As per Gregorian calendar, this occurs on the 3rd day of the waxing phase of the moon in the month of August.
It is a festival where the bond of marriage is given special respect and attention. In 2017, this festival falls on the 26th of July, Wednesday.
Legend of Hariyali Teej
The legend behind this festival is all about the trials Goddess Parvati went through to marry Lord Shiva. It is believed that Goddess Parvati in order to marry Lord Shiva had to do severe penance and give him evidence of his devotion for him. She was born and reborn at least 108 times before he could accept her as his wife. The day when he finally agreed to take her as his wife was the month of Shravan and the day was the day of the Teej, and Devi Parvati had promised that any woman who invoked her on this day will be blessed with immortal matrimonial happiness.
Rituals of Hariyali Teej
- Shringara- Shringara is a beautiful ritual which is a token of being appreciated by parent in laws. The Shringara items given to a newlywed wife consists of the following items like Henna, bangles, traditional dress known as Leharia, sweets, Sindoor (vermilion), etc. Shringara is an acknowledgement of being married and it is considered t be auspicious for the husband if the bride wears all the 16 items and adornments.
- Mehndi – the ritual of Hariyali Teej is incomplete without the tradition of applying Mehndi in hand. Women on this day put Mehndi on their hand and feet and the darker is the color she is believed to be more loved by her husband or fiancée. Women also tend to put the initials of her husbands or fiancées initials in the mehndi designs.
- Vat Vriksha- the branches of the Vat Vriksha signifies knowledge, and thus worshipping the tree is auspicious on this day. Swings are hung from the Banyan tree or the Vat Vriksha where women enjoy swinging and merry making on this day. Swings are also hung in houses where women can enjoy swinging amidst the showers of rain.
- Fasting – women on this day keep a fast for 24 hours to show penance for their husbands well being. Some women observe a Nirjala Vrat or where water cannot be consumed.
- Festivities – Since on this day Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Teej Mata, a variety of songs and dance performances are performed. Houses are decorated beautifully and feasts cooked.
Significance of the Hariyali Teej
Hariyali Teej, as the name suggests is a festival mainly upholding greenery. Women wear green bangles and lot of women wear green colored sarees too. It is going back to nature as in celebrating good harvests.
Women celebrate this vrat to wish for the long life of their husbands, to seek blessings for the peace and prosperity of their marital lives. The unmarried women like Parvati observe this vrat to get a husband of their choice and divine blessings on their marriage.
Hariyali Teej celebration in various places
In Maharashtra, women wear ornate green bangles, green clothes, kajal and golden bindi for luck and prosperity. They also gift decorated beautiful coconut to all their female relatives. To the Goddess they offer fresh flowers and fruits for expressing their gratitude.
In Gujarat special Garba dances are organized in praise of Goddess parvati and women wear their traditional clothes carrying pots on their heads.
Lord Krishna devotees in Vrindavan enjoy Hariyali Teej with great enthusiasm and construct swings to celebrate this. It is this auspicious day when the idols of Radha and Krishna come out of their place in the temple to give a darshan or sight to the devotees. The idols are also greatly decked up for this day. One of the main attractions of Hariyali Teej in Vrindavan is the gold and decorated swing of Lord Krishna which is only brought out at this time of the year. Devotees from all over the world come to see this.
In Rajasthan Teej Mata or Parvati is worshipped with great devotion. Special processions are brought out in honor of Teej Mata, songs and dances accompany this. Tourists congregate to watch this procession.