This Article is From Jul 26, 2017

Hariyali Teej 2017:The Significance of the Festival and Fasting Rituals 

Married women are observing ritualistic fasts on occasion of Hariyali teej 2017 to pray for the well-being of their husbands.

Hariyali Teej 2017:The Significance of the Festival and Fasting Rituals

Hariyali Teej is a festival that celebrates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Hindu women across India, especially in North India, are celebrating Hariyali Teej today with much fervour. Women across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh adorn themselves in beautiful attires and jewellery on the auspicious day and pray for their husband's long life. Haryali Teej is celebrated on the third day of the first fortnight of Shravan or Sawan month, usually between July and August of the Gregorian calendar. This year, Hariyali Teej 2017 falls on 26th July. Three symbolic Teej which are celebrated by women during Sawan and Bhadrapada months are 
Hariyali Teej ( which falls on 26th July), Kajari Teej (10th August) and  Hartalika Teej (24th August). 

Traditionally, ghevar (or ghewar), a Rajasthani sweet, is commonly associated with the celebrations.
Hindus believe Teej is a festival that celebrates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. According to the scriptures, goddess Parvati observed a strict fast and took 108 births to attain Lord Shiva as her beloved consort.  Following the same tradition, married women also observe ritualistic fasts to pray for the well-being and long life of their husbands. Hariyali Teej falls during Sawan month, which is the holy month to observe various fasts devoted to Lord Shiva. For the followers of Shiva and Parvati, the month and the festival holds a very significant position.  

The Hariyali Teej 2017 Vrat or Fast

Married women gather and worship Goddess Parvati for a happy married life. Some visit their parents' home, and adorn themselves in new clothes and accessories like red or green saris, green bangles, etc. Huge swings are decorated for women who swing while singing traditional Teej songs, followed by Teej folklore, usually narrated by older ladies.

In certain traditions sindhara, a bucket of gift, is sent to the daughter and her in-laws by her parents. Sindhara contains home-made sweets, ghewar, henna, bangles etc. The custom of gifting sindhara to the daughter and her in-laws during this Teej also gives the festival the name of Sindhara Teej. 

Married women keep a day long nirjala (no-food-no-water). Women consume their last meal a day prior to the festival, and fast through the day. Mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters sit together to have a lavish feast before the fast begins (at midnight) followed by Vrat Katha. 

The fast is finally broken after offering prayers to the moon in the evening and worshipping Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Many unmarried women also keep the fast, take part in the festivities and pray for a blissful married life. During fasting, married women are presented with items of shringaar (make up) by her in-laws. This box of shringhaar includes kumkum (vermilion), henna (mehndi), bindi, bangles, and sari.

Women apply henna and dress up on occasion of Hariyali Teej

Through the day women restrict themselves even from a morsel of food and drop of water, making the fast one of the most difficult fasts. This is why pregnant women are advised not to keep the fast and even if they do observe the fast, it is advisable to consult a doctor, and check with them on their dietary requirements. Few pregnant ladies go on a diet of milk and fruits to fulfil their nutritional requirements for the day. 

After the day-long fast is over, women drink water and eat healthy food to break the fast and commemorate the festival.