Hariyali Teej is a colorful festival when women in India dress up in traditional attire, wear henna on their hands and celebrate the teej festival at their maternal homes wishing a happy married life. The third day of the shravan month marks Hariyali Teej as this is the day when Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his consort.
After Sati’s self immolation, she took rebirth as Parvati with a resolve to be Lord Shiva’s wife once again. Parvati performed meditation for years with great devotion and austerity. She began to live the life of an ascetic just like Lord Shiv. To test her dedication and tenacity, the Lord disguised himself and tried to distract her by bringing forth the flaws of Shiva. However, an ardent Parvati pursued her journey of immense love and longing for the Lord and on this day, Shiva gave in to her unfathomable devotion and undying determination.
Importance of Hariyali Teej:
In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is considered an alpha male or purush who considers his wife as his equal half. The Ardhnareshwar roop of Shiva and Parvati is the epitome of equality and respect in a husband-wife’s relationship. Thereby, married women seek Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati’s blessings on this day for marital felicity.
Newly married women visit their maternal homes during teej. Some women observe fasting just like the Karvachauth fast and perform the Teej pooja in the evening. Women gather around swings or jhoolas in villages; while in urban India various Teej festivals are organized. Markets are abuzz with bangles, mehndiwalas, and special sweets like ghevar and maal-puas that add double the fun to the monsoon season.