Hartalika Teej Vrat is an important ritual performed by Hindu women. The ritual is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is observed in Rajasthan,
Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. In 2014, Hartalika Teej Vrat is on August 28. In some places, the Vrat is a three day affair but nowadays many women only observe the Vrat on a single day. This ritual is observed as Swarna Gowri Vratam in South India. In Nepal, this Teej is of great significance and is observed for three days and ends with the Rishi Panchami pooja.
By observing the ritual, unmarried women believe that they will get a husband like Lord Shiva. Married women believe they will be blessed with a good family life.
Origin of Hartalika Teej Vrat
According to Hindu Mythology, Shiva took no notice of the love of Parvati for very long time as he was haunted by the death of Sati. To get the attention of Shiva, Parvati performed severe austerities on the
Himalayas for several years. Some Puranas indicate that Goddess Parvati did penance for 16 years and survived on grass and fruits. Finally, Shiva acknowledged Parvati’s devotion and love and agreed to marry her.
Women observe Hartalika Teej Vrat in remembrance of Parvati’s deep determination to win over her love. It is believed that Goddess Parvati will be pleased with those women who observe the Vrat. There are several regional variations in the Hartalika Teej Vrat myth. But the essence is the same.
Even today, many married women and unmarried women observe ‘nirjala vrata’ (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 Parvati. Rice patolis, sweets and numerous delicacies are prepared on this day. Delicacies made out of coconut are a specialty.