Hartalika Vrat is dedicated to Goddess Parvati 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 (nirjala vrata) is the order of the day.
On the Hartalika Vrat day, the idol of Goddess Parvati is decorated with fresh clothes and a pandal (small puja house) is made from banana bark and leaves. Today, most people prefer to observe the vrat in their usual pooja rooms and do not bother to create a pandal. A Shivling made from clay is placed along with Goddess Parvati. Listening or reading stories of Goddess Parvati and Shiva is considered auspicious.
In the evening, special Aarti is performed on the idols. After the Aarti, relatives and friends join in traditional singing and dancing. Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered to Goddess Parvati. Some people make special delicacies from coconut.
Women dress up beautifully on the day by applying mehndi. Green is the most preferred color. New jewelry and new clothes are specially reserved for the day. In certain areas, married women visit their houses and observe the fast with parents.
The fast is broken on the night by some communities but some people break fast only the next day morning.
Please note that if you are taking medicines or are suffering from any diseases, it is better to avoid strict fasting. Take the advice of the doctor, if you are so interested in observing the fast.