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Analysis - Hartalika Teej
Hartalika Teej, a beautiful festival for women to impress Goddess Parvati who blesses them with a marriage like Shiva & Parvati, or healthy life of their husbands. Read further to understand the importance of Teej festival with the ways of celebration.

Hartalika Teej 2013 date is September 8, as per the lunar Hindu calendar. Hartalika Teej is a form of Teej festival, which is popularly known amongst the people of India. The Teej festival is subdivided into three categories:

    Haryali Teej
    Kajari Teej
    Hartalika Teej

Haritalika Teej is basically a north Indian festival, which is celebrated amongst the people of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Hartalika Teej is typically a women’s festival celebrated by the females of India to enchant Goddess Parvati for her blessings. The blessings are targeted for good health and long life of the husbands of married women, whereas unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva.

Indians believe that on this auspicious day, Goddess Parvati was accepted by Lord Shiva. As per the story, Mata Parvathy was in love with Shiva, but he was an ascetic and was not aware about her. In order to impress him, the goddess worshipped for many years in the Himalyas. Finally, Lord Shiva noticed Goddess Parvati and realized her love and devotion, and they got married. Since then, the goddess is being worshipped as ‘Hartalika’ and ‘Teej Mata’ by the Indian ladies.

Unlike other forms of Teej, Hartalika Teej is celebrated at the end of the Hindu month ‘Sawan’ and beginning of ‘Bhadrapad’ or ‘Bhado’. Basically, the beautiful Hartalika Teej day falls on the third day of the fortnight of Bhadra month. According to the western calendar, Hindu month Bhado falls between August-September. Mostly, it has seen that the Hartalika Teej date comes in the beginning of September month. However, there is no issue with the days of the week and Hartalika 2012 will be celebrated on Tuesday.

Hartalika Teej- A chance to decorate yourself

Women celebrate Haryali Teej and Kajari Teej by visiting their parent’s house, but they come back to their in-laws’ house for Hartalika Teej. As they are back to their husbands, they try to look most beautiful by wearing new clothes, glittering jewelry and tempting bangles. Teej festival offers a chance to the women for wearing all the accessories of Shringar (make-up) on this day. Some of those Shringar accessories are such that they put mehandi tattoos on hands, mahavar designs on their feet, kohl in their eyes, Bindi on their forehead and many more. As it is all done on the occasion dedicated to Mata Parvathi, women also decorate the idols of Maa Parvathy in the same way.

In Maharashtra, women typically wear green Saris, green Bangles and golden bindi on this special day and gift colorfully decorated coconuts to other females.

Grand Celebration of Hartalika Teej Begins

Hartalika Teej is basically a three day festival. First day is followed by the gathering of all ladies singing and dancing together. They also decorate each other as well as apply mehandi on hands and the day ends by exchanging gifts between the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. The enthusiasm for the festival can easily be seen in women of all ages. They get dressed and get ready for the special events and competitions organised during teej.

Now, comes the second day, which is the most important day amongst three. Women keep fast throughout the day without even touching or smelling any food as well as water. The fast without water is known as ‘Nirjala vrat’ and because this nirjala vrat is in the name of Ma Parvati this day, we also know it as ‘Hartalika vrat’. This fast is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi as the token of love and honor. Further, they worship Parvathy Maa and on third day they have something to eat or drink.

Puja of Parvati Ma is basically performed at the most convenient place where all women can easily gather. Parvathi Ma is known as ‘Teej Mata’ on this day and women read ‘Hartalika Katha’ or ‘Teej Katha’ to fascinate her. After puja process is over, women sit over the whole night and celebrate by singing and dancing. It is customary at some places to stay awake at Teej night and sometimes all three nights are celebrated to symbolize the penance undertook by Parvati. With this custom, another custom has been attached of lighting up an oil lamp and keep it throughout the whole night to signify the well being of their husbands. Women also offer food to young girls and Brahmins on this day.

On the last day, women end this festival by preparing delicious recipes to break their fast. The dishes of the feast vary according to the regions, like Rajasthani prepares Ghewar and Daal Bhati, whereas women from M.P., U.P. and Bihar prepare vermicelli, malpua and kheer-puri.

This article must have been enough to tantalize your senses to experience such delicious dishes and mesmerizing festival full of colors as well as passion. Hartalika Teej offers a dual treat to people by giving them a reason to celebrate as well as fascinate Goddess to increase their husband’s life or blessing unmarried girls with husband like Lord Shiva.
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