Hartalika Teej: What married women should NOT do today!
The festival of Hartalika Teej is observed by married and unmarried women in the honour of Goddess Parvati.
India is a land of miracles and diversity and the geographical array is a proof to this. Our culture supports vivid beliefs and celebrations and today is one such day.
Hartalika Teej is considered as one of the most important teej amongst the three that are celebrated in the country around this time.
It is celebrated on the Tritiya (3rd day) of the Skukla Paksha (waning phase of the moon) in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.
The festival of Hartalika Teej is observed by married and unmarried women in the honour of Goddess Parvati. The other two teej that are celebrated are Hariyali and Kajari teej. This teej festival comes in the month of July-August every year.
What is Hartalika Teej?
Hartalika Teej is celebrated especially in Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. This festival is dedicated to Maa Hartalika, who is also known as Goddess Parvati.
Hartalika Teej is celebrated to mark the day when Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati’s love towards him. Women all across the country celebrate this festival in order to be loved by their husbands or get loving spouses.
Why is this Teej celebrated?
‘Harat’ means abduction and ‘aalika’ translates to a female friend. According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati was abducted by her female friends so that she doesn’t get married to Lord Vishnu, a match set by her father.
Goddess Parvati was in love with Lord Shiva and being an ascetic Lord Shiva was not aware of her. Parvati performed penance on the Himalayas for 108 births and finally Shiva took notice of her and accepted her love. Since then Parvati has been worshipped as Haritalika.
It is said that this day onwards, Goddess Parvati declared this day auspicious for women and proclaimed that whoever will perform certain rituals on this day will be blessed with a happy married life.
How is Hartalika’s Teej celebrated?
Unmarried girls keep the fast and pray to Goddess Parvati in hope to get good husbands. Hartalika Teej Vrat is observed by both married and unmarried women. Married women keep the Vrat in order to achieve happy and peaceful married life.
Some even maintain nirjala vrata (without water) on these three days and refrain from sleep all the three days. This is symbolic of the penance which Goddesses Parvati undertook to get Shiva as her husband. During the Vrat food is being offered to Brahmins and young girls.
In Maharashtra, women wear green clothes, green bangles, golden bindis and kajal for luck. Applying mehndi on hands and feet is one of the unique features of Hartalike Teej celebrations.
On the day of Hartalika Teej, women wake up early in the morning, take bath and wear new clothes and adorn the best jewellery. Women receive gifts from their parents, parents-in-law, which generally consists of traditional laheria dress, bangles, henna, sindoor and sweets like ghewar. These gifts are collectively known as Shrinjhara or Sindhare.
For performing the puja women gather at a nearby temple or a garden. A semi-circle is created and an idol of Goddess Parvati is kept in the middle. The main puja begins with holy offerings of flowers, fruits, sweets and coins. A pujarin or all the ladies together narrate the holy Teej Katha.
After the puja gets over women offer flowers, fruits, and many other holy items to Goddesses Parvati and seek her blessings for marital bliss. While doing the puja, they have to light a mud diya, which should be kept lit all night long.
5 things married women should NOT do on Hartalika’s Teej
1) If you are pregnant, do not fast. No where it is said that an unborn child should also penance for the father’s love. Medically it is not advisable to fast or follow strict special fast diet while expecting.
2) Do not let young girls be hungry around you. Whether they are known to you or unknown. Make sure you feed them to their hearts content to receive their blessings too.
3) Do not let the lamp fizzle out. Make sure the diya that you light, lasts for at least 24 hours and has enough oil at all times. Use a glass covering around it if necessary.
4) Do not just pray and fast during this teej. This means you need to even celebrate love. That is the main intention of this teej. Deck up, wear good clothes and jewelry.
5) Do not cultivate bad thoughts, anger, grudges this day. Every marriage or love consists of ups and downs, but this day keep away all your bad feelings and thoughts and with the purity of your heart and mind, observe this fast. Not just culturally, but emotionally as a person a break from the things not working and focussing on the good makes a lot of change and impact in the relationship.