Hariyali Teej

Even though this festival appears to be a colorful celebration of women dressed up like brides in green traditional attire playing on swings, it is primarily a test of their forbearance. This is because they observe a strict fast called the nirjara vrat (fasting without water) on the eve of the festival and break their fast after praying to the moon. Ghevar, Dal Bati Churma, Besan Laddu, Kaju Katli and Sattu are a few famous foods eaten by the women after their puja to the moon. Women pray to Teejmata or to Goddess Parvati for conjugal bliss and a happy married life. The worship of the Goddess is done through song and dance in processions on the streets with songs of praise for her.

According to Hindu mythology, Hariyali Teej is the day when Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his ardhangini (betterhalf), a status which she achieved after many years of strict penance and fasting. Since then, the Vrat has been observed by unmarried and married women to commemorate the union of Shiva and Parvati and to pray for the longevity of their respective and future husbands.

In appreciation of this earnest devotion towards their families, the parents of the groom give to their daughters-in-law, gifts (Sindhara) in the form of new clothes, ornaments, mehendi, sweets and beauty products. Another unique practice of the festival is swinging. Beautiful decorated swings are hung from green trees on which women swing and sing traditional teej songs.