Harela festival

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Harela (हरेला)

Harela is also called ” The farm festival of Uttarakhand ” or as “Welcoming Seasons of the festival”. Harela (हरेला) is a Hindu festival celebrated within the Indian state of Uttarakhand mainly in the Kumaon and some regions of Himachal Pradesh. Harela symbolizes the new harvest of the time of year once a year,People also take their Village deity to the open ground for collective prayers and celebrations. It is referred to as Hariyali or Rihyali in Kangra, Shimla, and Sirmour region, Dakhrain in Jubbal and Kinnaur regions of Himachal Pradesh. 

Harela (हरेला)
Harela (हरेला)

It is also associated with Mother Nature and greenery and is often considered as an ideal way to celebrate Nature’s offerings and also inspire people to conserve what we are blessed with. It is widely celebrated on the first day of Shravan-Maas (Shravan-Sankranti), as per the Hindu calendar,

Read This Also : कुमाऊं के लोकपर्व घुघुतिया त्यौहार का महत्व एवं लोककथा ।

This festival marks the start of the sowing season and is widely known for its auspicious harvest year and to celebrate the marriage day of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.People who are primarily based on agriculture in this region consider this festival highly auspicious.7 different types of seeds like wheat, barley, moong, urad, corn, gahat, mustard, etc are grown for this festival 8 to 10 days before, within the homes of worship, are sown by laying soil in a place of worship and in it for 9 days.

Harela (हरेला)
Harela (हरेला)

They are additionally heeded symbolically a day and harvested on the day of Harela.All this work is primarily done by the elders or Pandits. there is also added the law of worship, naivedya, aarti, etc.Different types of dishes like Kheer, puwa, puri, rayata, chhole, and other dishes are also prepared.Some People additionally sow the seeds of new plants in the soil or fields and join their hands in the form of ‘Pranam’ for saving the environment.People build clay statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati also known as called Dikare or Dikars and they are worshiped.In addition to this festival, Harela Mela is also celebrated every year from16 July to 21 July on the Ram Leela Ground in Bhimtal. There are mainly two types of Harela celebrated in a very year, one in the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar (March /April) and the other within the Shravan month of the Hindu calendar (July / August) Chaitra– Chaitra is the name of a traditional Hindu month that corresponds with March and April as per the Gregorian calendar. On the first of the Navaratri (nine-day fasting period) in the month of ChaitraThe seeds are grown in pots inside the room, using small baskets filled with earth. In some parts, the sowing is done ceremoniously either by the head of the family or the family priest. The first few seeds are blessed and then kept for luck by the family.

Harela (हरेला)
Harela (हरेला)

The germination of these grains symbolizes the future harvest and the beginning of the new life of nature.The shoots of the crops indicate the qualities or defects of the seeds a farmer has in his store. On the tenth day, the yellow leaves, called Harela, and the shoots are cut and adorned on the head or tucked behind the ears to mark the celebration of the festival.

Read This Also : जानिए पहाड़ी औखाणे, आणे, पखाणे और उनके अर्थ ।

One day before the celebration of the festival, a mock wedding is organized with small wooden hoes (farming tools), and the painted images of Shiva, Parvati, and their offspring are prepared and worshipped. A small amount of money is also distributed among the young girls of a family on this day.

Harela (हरेला)
Harela (हरेला)

 Shravan- Shravan is the name of the Hindu month that corresponds with the months of July-August a The Shravan festivities are more popular and widespread than the Chaitra ones because the month corresponds with the rainy season and the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati.The months of July and August are the monsoon months and it is an appropriate occasion to celebrate the crop booming months, on these days people create small clay/red soil idols (dikaras) of Ganesh, Gauri, Maheshwar, and others associated with Lord Shiva.

These idols are worshipped and ceremonial prayers are organized in the devotion of Lord Shiva in various templesOn this day of the locals sing the lines written in the Kumaon language: 

जी रये, जागि रये धरती जस आगव,

आकाश जस चाकव है जये सूर्ज जस तराण,

स्यावे जसि बुद्धि हो दूब जस फलिये,

सिल पिसि भात खाये, जांठि टेकि झाड़ जाये

These lyrics translate to:

” You get all-around greenery in your life. Live long, be aware.

 Be a forbearance like earth, be wide and generous like the sky.

 Be as bright as the sun, be wise and clever like a fox. 

Live a full-term life till the natural decay of teeth, so that you have to grind rice before eating. 

You grow that much old that you have to use a pole or stick to go for defecation. “

WRITTEN AND RESEARCH BY  GAURAV RAWAT

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