Harela: A harvest festival of Uttarakhand covering various dimesnsions

DehradunTales wishes the people of Uttarakhand from around the globe, a very happy and prosperous “Harela“.

We truly appreciate the State Government’s decision to declare it as a public holiday. It will raise awareness among people about the rich cultural heritage of the state, especially, the new generation.

Let’s find out more about this festival through a brief description that follows:

HARELA is a ‘folk’ festival of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. It is celebrated thrice a year, the first two being during both the Navratris, namely Chaitra and Sharad Navratri, and the third & the most significant one is celebrated in the month of Shravan.

Every year it is celebrated on the first day of the Shravan month known as Karksankranti. It marks the onset of rainy season and also the beginning of the sowing cycle. It holds a great social, cultural, and environmental significance among the people of the state.

Religious and Traditional aspect:

Ten days before the auspicious date, five or seven or nine types of seeds are sown in the various sized buckets or clay pots filled with soil, by the head of the family or family priest.

They keep it in the pooja room or some clean and sacred place of the house. They regularly water it. People also worship it for good fortune. 

During these nine days, these seeds germinate and grow into the plants with yellow leaves known as Harela which symbolizes good crop yield and prosperity for family.

On the day of Harela, people also celebrate the wedding of Lord Shiva with goddess Parvati by making their clay statues and performing wedding rituals. The devotees also worship various gods and godesses for overall good fortune. After the prayers, people distribute yellow leaves among friends and relatives to put them on their head or behind their ears.

The festival is followed by Bhitauli, where money is given to the young girls and daughters of the family, wishing for their good fortune. Nowadays, Harela is celebrated on a wide scale with much support from the government and the public with an aim to promote the rich cultural heritage of the state among the new generation.

It simultaneously gives us a message for environmental conservation and connecting with the Nature by planting saplings.

Uttarakhand Government launched massive plantation drive on Harela this year.

DehradunTales once again wishes you all a great Harela. We encourage our readers to participate in this beautiful, cultural and environmental preservation program to do their bit for our society.

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