While Karwa Chauth is one of the most popular festivals observed by married Hindu women, there is another festival, Hariyali Teej, which has a special significance for women from the Northern states.
Every year, the Tritiya Tithi of Shukla Paksha in the Shravan month is observed as Hariyali Teej. This year, the auspicious festival will be celebrated today (August 11) in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana and Rajasthan.
While both Shukla and Krishna pakshas of every month is called Teej, but among all, three Teejs i.e., Hariyali, Kajari and Hartalika have greater importance and significance. Hariyali Teej is also called Shravani Teej, since it falls in the holy month of Shravan. It’s also called Hariyali Teej because it falls in the monsoon season, at the time when there is greenery all around.
Like Karwa Chauth, Hariyali Teej is also observed by married women for their husbands’ long life, marital bliss and a happy family. It is believed that on this day, Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife.
Hariyali Teej symbolises the divine reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, hence married women pray and worship them. And while married women observe the fast for husbands’ long life, the unmarried women observe it to get a husband like Mahadev.
On this day, the newly-wedded brides visit their parents’ homes (mayka), where they observe the fast and adorn 16 embellishments (solah shringar), which they receive as gifts from their in-laws. Most women observe nirjal upvas, meaning, they don’t drink water or eat anything. They dress up in the shades of green, red or yellow, since these colours are auspicious for married women, apply mehndi and visit temples to seek blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. They do puja and gather to sing Teej songs, bhajans and dance.
Sitting on the swing is one of the fun rituals of the day — it’s called as Jhulan Leela. The swings are hung on the branches of the trees and women spend their day swinging and singing songs.