According to Hindu mythology, Parvati was in love with Shiva. Being an ascetic Lord shiva was not aware of her. Parvati performed penance in the Himalayas for many years and finally, Shiva took notice of her. Then Lord Shiva came to know about her love and devotion towards him and agreed to marry her. Since then Parvati has been worshipped as Haritalika.
Haritalika Teej is celebrated for three days in honor of the goddess Parvati. Before a day of Teej, all the married women come back to their marital home and enjoy delicious food known as ‘Dar’ at night at 12 o’clock which is prepared specially by their mothers.
The first day of Teej is a special day. On this day, all the women wear new dresses and shining ornaments of gold and keep fasting without having a drop of water praying for the long life of their husbands. Likewise, unmarried girls also keep fasting for getting a good husband. All over the day, they sing, dance, and perform puja.
On this day, they gather at Pashupatinath Temple or a nearby temple of Shiva. Then, they create a semi-circle and an idol of Goddess Parvati is kept in the middle. The main puja begins with holy offerings of flowers, fruits, sweets, and coins. All the ladies together narrate the holy Teej Katha (story of teej). Young girls also sit and listen to the Katha. While listening to the holy Katha women should put their minds and thoughts toward their soul mate.
After the puja gets over women offer flowers, fruits, and many other holy items to Goddesses Parvati and seek her blessings for marital bliss. Another important part of the puja is an oil lamp that needs to keep alight throughout the night and if it dies away it is considered to be a bad omen.
The second day of Teej is known as ‘Khalcha’. On this day, women collect 365 leaves and strings of a kind of plant known as ‘Datiwan bush’ and put it on the roof of the house at night.
The third day of Teej is known as ‘Rishi Panchami’. On that day, women go to ‘Ganga’ a sacred river, and bite such leaves and strings one by one and use red mud for bathing. This is an act of purification that is believed to absolve women for all accumulated sins after this holy bath. After then, they gather some stones and worship there.
At last, they gather at a place and are ready for ‘Rishi Pooja’. At this time also, they take Panchmi fast and by paying homage to Rishies on this day of the festival, they will be blessed and forgiven for all their sins that they are bound to commit during their menstrual cycle by not following the strictures laid down for them by their religion.