Hartalika Tritiya Vrat, also referred to as Hartalika Teej Vrat or Hartalika Vrat, is an important ritual followed in order to honor Goddess Gauri or Goddess Parvati. This vrat is observed on the 3rd day of the first fortnight in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadra. The three day festival is celebrated with utmost splendor and grandeur by both married and unmarried women. The major celebrations can be witnessed in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. In Karnataka, this fast is celebrated as Swarna Gauri Vrata or Gowri Habba while, in Andhra Pradesh, it is referred to as Thadiya Gauramma Vratham. Browse further to know the detailed information on Hartalika Teej vrat and also find out how to observe it.
How To Observe Hartalika Teej Vrat
A small story lies behind the celebration of Hartalika Teek vrat. Legends explain that after the death of Sati Devi, Lord Shiva started ignoring the entire world, including Goddess Parvati without noticing her devoted love. In order to get her husband's attention, Parvati underwent severe penance for several years surviving only on grass and fruits. Eventually, Lord Shiva got pleased by the love and affection of Parvati and finally accepted her. Hence, this festival is commemorated by all women, whether married or single. While the married women observe this for achieving health and happiness for their respective husbands, unmarried young girls and women observe the fast in order to be blessed with a loyal husband, like Lord Shiva.
Similar to Karwa Chauth, women observe a 'nirjala vrata', that is, severe fasting without eating and drinking anything. On the day of Hartalika Teej, a pandal (small puja house) is made using banana bark and leaves. Goddess Parvati is adorned with new clothes and set in the pandal. A Shivling is made from clay and placed alongside Parvati. Women beautify their hands and feet with mehndi (henna), a unique feature of Hartalika Tritiya celebrations. They dress up in new green clothes and new jewelry. In certain regions, married women visit their premarital homes and observe the fast along with their parents and other family members. They put on green bangles and a golden bindi.
Stories of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva are read out and listened as they are considered auspicious on this festival. In the evenings, special prayers are arranged for worshipping the deities. Thereafter, traditional songs and dances are performed which are actively participated by relatives and friends. Fresh fruits and vegetables are brought specially for this day and offered to Parvati. Special delicacies, such as rice patolis and sweets, are made on this occasion. Preparations made from coconut take special place.