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Photo Feature:Hartalika Teej was celebrated at California and India by Indian Women

Worshippers do bhajan sangeet pooja in night as well and open vrat (fasting) on the second day. It is very auspicious vrat for women in India to worship goddess Parvati in the form of Gouri along with Lord Shiva family.

Indian women of Bihar-Jharkhand Association, celebrating Hartalika Teej at Los Angeles in California, USA. Photographs and Video: Special Arrangement

According to the legend of Hartalika Teej, Parvati, incarnated as Shailaputri. Hartalika is a combination of the sanskrit words harit and aalika which means "abduction" and "female friend" respectively.

The festival is mainly celebrated in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chattisgarh.  It is also celebrated by the Indian diaspora in USA , United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia. Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana Surinam and other parts of the Caribbean, Fiji, Mauritius and South Africa.  

The fast (also called nishivasar nirjala vrat) commences during the evening of Hartalika Teej and is broken the next day after a full day's observance which involves women not even drinking water.

Women doing puja while celebrating Hartalika Teej in New Delhi

According to legend, on the third day of the bright half of Bhadrapud, Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) made a Shiva-lingam out of sand and silt of river Ganga and prayed. Lord Shiva was so impressed that he gave his word to marry Parvati. Eventually, Parvati was united with Shiva and was married to him with her father's blessing. Since then, the day is referred to as Hartalika Teej as Parvati's female (aalika) friend had to abduct (harit) her in order for the goddess to achieve her goal of marrying Shiva.

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