Hariyali Teej – The Festival of Swings
Hariyali Teej is a fasting festival for Hindu women (married or unmarried), celebrated for marital bliss and the wellbeing of their husbands. Hariyali teej is the 3rd day of the first fortnight in the Hindu month Shravan (July – August). Shravan month marks the beginning of monsoon i.e. the rainy season in India. The word “Hariyali” means “greenery” that is a symbol of growth and prosperity. Thus, Hariyali teej is the celebration on this greenery and growth. It is a celebration of the renewal of the earth after a very hot and dry summer.
Women witness fast on teej and pray for the good harvest season and well-being of their husband and family members. Those unmarried women pray for marital bliss.
Hariyali teej is a festival of devotion towards Mother Nature and family. It is rather the most awaited festival for girls as they dress up in colorful clothes, wear jewelry, apply mehandi, wear colorful bangles and enjoy to the core.
On this occasion women worship Goddess Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) and they fast for the long life of their husband. It is believed that Devi Parvati underwent a penance and prayed continuously to show her devotion towards Lord Shiva and it was after 108 births and rebirths that he accepted her as his wife. Married women seek her blessings by honoring Devi Parvati and unmarried women imbibed by her spirit to be blessed by a husband like Lord Shiva.
Legend has it that the Goddess Parvati once underwent a self-imposed penance in an effort to demonstrate her devotion to Lord Shiva and was born and reborn on earth 108 times before he took her as his wife. The day was “Teej of Shrawan Month” when Lord Shiva took her as his wife, then Devi Parvati promised every women who invokes her will be bless with marital bliss and her blessings
The Hariyali Teej celebration comprises of dancing, singing and swining. Yes, you read it correctly “Swinging”. Women (especially in North India) celebrate Hariyali teej by wearing green bangles and enjoying swings all over the places. Speacial fairs are being organized by local authorities to celebrate the occasion of Hariyali Teej. It is a customary practice for the women themselves to sit in swings in imitation of those deities.