Haritalika Teej is the festival of women in Nepal. This festival is celebrated by Hindu woman’s, mostly married Hindu women with the cultural belief that their fasting will increase their beloved husband’s life and for their healthy life. In this festival, Lord Shiva is worshiped and unmarried girls also fast on this day with the hope/wish of getting a nice husband in the future. This festival occurs in the month of August.
Women’s in this day celebrate this special day by wearing red shari (A kind of cloth for women), red tika, precious ornaments, bangles, dancing in different traditional folk songs and also going to their parent’s home. It is especially significant for married women when they get a special invitation to visit their maternal home and feast.
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Haritalika Teej was ideally dedicated to celebrating goddess Parvati and her union with Lord Shiva mainly celebrated in Sukla Tithi according to Hindu Calendar. Their union is considered as the ultimate devotion and love. To honor this union of greatly celebrated Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, it is celebrated by many Hindu women with the belief of their marriage to be loving and happy. At the starting of the ceremony, the idol representing the goddess Parvati is decorated with gold, jewelry, and flower. And on the last day, it is put to an end by the same procession.
This festival is celebrated for three days:
First Day is the “Dar Khane Din”/special kind of food eating day:
On this day, women dress in their finest clothes wearing expensive clothes and dance in folk songs and some modern songs, nowadays. Mostly, on this day women go to their parent’s house and celebrate with sisters, mothers and other relatives and eat specially prepared nourishment known as “Dar” in Nepali culture.
Second Day is “Fasting Day”
The second day is dedicated to puja and praying without eating anything for 24 hours. On this day Lord Shiva is worshiped. Women go to temples and pray with flowers, sweets, and coins. Also, the special oil lamp is lighted in this ceremony and it should be kept lit all night to avoid bad omen to happen in the future and also believes that it will bring peace and prosperity in the family.
Third-Day is named “Rishi Panchami”
On the final day of this three-day festival Women satisfy seven saints offering them food, money, and various offerings, and also bathing with Red mud and brushing their teeth with Datiwan (branches of a bush tree) hoping this purifies their body and soul.