During the festival, women fast and pray for a prosperous life of their spouse. The festival falls on the third dark day of the lunar month on the Nepali month of Bhadau.
As per the tradition, women enjoy various delicious dishes popularly known as ‘Dar’ and fast on the next day. They pay homage to Lord Shiva, praying for the long and prosperous life of their husband.
The festivity comes to an end after worshiping the legendary ‘Saptarishi’ (seven sages).
The festival is also a celebration of sisterhood as sisters gather at their natal home and indulge in jubilant dancing and singing.
The legend has it that Parbati, the daughter of Himalayas, was on her maiden fast, wishing for the health and the well being of her spouse, Lord Shiva. Since then the same day has been recognized as the Haritalika Teej.
Married women put on bangles, ‘Pote’ (a necklace made of glass beads), ‘Tilahari’ and ‘Sindur’ (crimson powder) considered the symbols of good luck and dress themselves up in red saris or other red outfits and adorn themselves with different kinds of ornaments.
Both married and unmarried women worship and observe fasting, praying for fulfillment of their wish for a happy and prosperous conjugal life.
The Pashupatinath temple and major Mahadev Temple sees an overwhelming number of women devotees on this day.
(All photos by Sanjog Manandhar)