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India is known across the world for its beautiful culture and the traditions followed here. A huge number of fasts and festivals, each with a religious significance and an inspiring story behind it, are observed throughout the year, and in various parts of the country. One such festival which showcases the beliefs and the rituals of the Hindu women is Teej. The Teej festivals are of four types and all the four of them are celebrated by worshipping Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The festival Of Teej is one of the most awaited festivals for the womenfolk of North India and it marks the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Significance Of Hartalika Teej
Teej festival is celebrated mainly by the womenfolk. Four Teej festivals are celebrated in a year. The first one is Akha Teej and is observed around the month of April. Akha Teej is also known as Akshay Tritiya. The second one, Hariyali Teej is celebrated around August. The third is the Kajri Teej which also falls within a period of fifteen days after Hariyali Teej. Similarly, the fourth Teej, known as Hartalika Teej also falls within a period of fifteen days after the Hariyali Teej.
Benefits Of Observing A Fast On Hartalika Teej
Goddess Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva. So she had observed Teej fasts for 108 years. Thus, this fast is observed by unmarried women to get a husband of choice and by the married women for the long life of their husbands. This fast is believed to get Akhand Soubhagya (good luck in married life). Therefore, the fast is observed for a blessed married life.
Hartalika Teej Dates This Year
Hartalika Teej is observed on the third day during the Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadrapad according to the Hindu calendar. Bhadrapad corresponds to the months of September-November as per the Gregorian calendar. This year it will be observed on September 12, 2018. The Hartalika Teej Tithi will begin at 6:04 pm on September 11 and the Tithi will end at 4:07 pm on September 12. The puja timings will be from 6:09 am to 8:36 am on September 12.
Procedure For Hartalika Teej Fast
Women observe this festival as a fasting day. They get up early and take bath during the Brahma Muhurta (between 4:00 am - 6:00 am). Statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess of Parvati are prepared using clay. They offer prayers before these deities and offer items such as flowers, fruits, Belpatra, etc. Rice, coloured with turmeric powder, is also offered during the puja.
The women who observe a fast do not eat anything for the whole day and break the fast in the evening by eating mainly jaggery, ghewar (a sweet dish prepared mainly in the North Indian regions) and coconut water.
Those who observe the fast, generally keep a whole night vigil. On this day women visit their friends and most of them get together, play games and sing songs the whole day.