Vrat-Festivals | Vrat
Bhaadrapad Shukla 3rd
Harataalikaa Teej Vrat is an important ritual performed by Hindu women. The ritual is dedicated to Goddess Paarvatee and is observed in Raajasthaan, Bihaar, Jhaarkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatteesgarh and Mahaaraashtra areas. In some places, the Vrat is a three day affair but nowadays many women only observe the Vrat on a single day. This Vrat falls on Bhaadrapad Shukla Teej. This ritual is observed as Swarn Gauree Vratam in South India. In Nepaal, this Teej is of great significance and is observed for three days and ends with the Rishi Panchamee Poojaa. By observing the ritual, unmarried women believe that they will get a husband like Shiv. Married women believe they will be blessed with a good family life.
According to Hindu Mythology, Shiv took no notice of the love of Paarvatee for a very long time as he was haunted by the death of Satee. To get the attention of Shiv, Paarvatee performed severe austerities on the Himaalaya for several years. Some Puraan indicate that Paarvatee did penance for 16 years and survived on grass and fruits. Finally, Shiv acknowledged Paarvatee's devotion and love and agreed to marry her. Women observe Harataalikaa Teej Vrat in remembrance of Paarvatee's deep determination to win over her love. It is believed that Goddess Paarvatee will be pleased with those women who observe the Vrat. There are several regional variations in the Harataalikaa Teej Vrat myth. But the essence is the same.
Even today, many married women and unmarried women observe 'Nir-jalaa Vrat' (severe fasting even without water). A grand feast is held after the fast in all houses. On the day, women wear green clothes and bangles which signify luck. Fresh fruits and green vegetables are offered to Paarvatee. Rice Patolee, sweets and numerous delicacies are prepared on this day. Delicacies made out of coconut are a specialty.
Harataalikaa Vrat is dedicated to Paarvatee Jee and it is believed that those unmarried women who observe this fast will be blessed with good husbands and those married will have a happy married life. A strict fast by women (Nir-jalaa Vrat - without drinking any water) is the order of the day. On this day, the idol of Paarvatee is decorated with new clothes and a Pandaal (small Poojaa house) is made from banana bark and leaves or observe it in usual Poojaa rooms. A Shiv Ling made from clay is placed along with Paarvatee. Listening or reading stories of Paarvatee and Shiv is considered auspicious.
In the evening, special Aaratee is performed to the idols. After the Aaratee, relatives and friends join in traditional singing and dancing. Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered to Paarvatee. Some people make special delicacies from coconut. Women dress up beautifully on the day by applying Menhadee. Green is the most preferred color on this day. New jewelry and new clothes are worn today. In certain areas, married women visit their parent's houses and observe the fast with parents. The fast is broken on the next day morning. It is like Hariyaalee Teej of UP.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 09/29/13