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Haritalika Teej – a festival of ‘Solah Shringar’ begins

Namaste and Happy Haritalika Teej 2013!

Haritalika Teej also known as festival of Solah Shringar begins in Nepal. Women in Nepal celebrate the festival of Haritalika Teej with immense fervor and enthusiasm. Married ladies come back to their parents’ home to celebrate the festival. By rigorous fasting and praying to Goddess Parvati on Hartalika Teej, married women are blessed with healthy life of their husband while the unmarried girls are said to be blessed by a husband like Lord Shiva.

Hartalika Teej is the time to adorn oneself with new clothes and jewelry. Applying mehndi on hands and feet is a unique feature of Haritalika Teej celebrations. Women do their best to look beautiful at the time of Haritalika Teej. During this festival, women do ‘Solah Shringar’ to adorn themselves. Solah Shringar is the adornment using 16 elements.

Haritalika Teej Pooja holds a very significant place in the life of women’s as this Pooja is done for the well-being of the husbands. Haritalika Teej Pooja is the significance how Goddess Parvati showed her love to God Shiva. According to the Hindu mythology after the death of Sati, Lord Shiva started disregarding everyone and he did not even noticed the love that Parvati had for him. Seeing the ignorance of lord Shiva, Parvati started keeping fasts for him to seek attention of Shiva. Goddess Parvati decided to put all her efforts to make Shiva know about her love for him. She did a tough penance of thousands of years in Himalayas. Finally, Lord Shiva noticed the Goddess and realizing her love, he married her. Since then, Goddess Parvati is being worshipped as Haritalika and Teej Mata. Therefore, women celebrate Haritalika Teej in a very sacred manner to get the love of their husbands.

Hartalika Teej festival goes on for three days. On the first day, women gather and then sing as well as dance. During the occasion they help each other in getting ready, apply henna to each other’s hands. At the end of the day, women exchange gifts with their mother-in-law. On second day, women observe a tough fast that excludes even water. In Sanskrit, it is known as Nirjala Vrat, also known as Haritalika Vrat. In the evening, all women worship Goddess Parvati and only have food and water on the third day. On the third day, women decorate their houses, cook delicious dishes and celebrate the last day of the festival with great fun.

The festival after all is not just about seeking blessings for husband. It is also about strengthening the bond between a couple, family and women. Nowadays, the festival is connoted with women’s liberation moment in Nepal.

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