Harela, which means "Day of Green", represents the new harvest brought on by the rainy season. It takes place in the 'Shravan month' of the Hindu calendar.
It is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand - a festival of peace, prosperity, greenery, and environmental protection. It coincides with the religious celebration of the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
It is considered to be an auspicious day for farmers, as it is the day when they begin the sowing cycle in their fields. Harela is known by various names - Mol-Sankranti or Rai-Sagran in some areas of Garhwal, Uttarakhand.
Kheer, puwa, puri, rayata, chhole, and other dishes are prepared as the celebratory spread.
How is Harela celebrated in Uttarakhand?
The head of every family sows five to seven types of seeds (Maize, sesame, black gram, and mustard) in bowls made of leaves or hill bamboo baskets 10 days before the festival and waters them every day. One day before Harela, people make clay statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, known as Dikare or Dikars, and worship them. On the day of Harela, the shoots of those sown seeds start appearing. People then celebrate the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and seek their blessings for the following harvest season. And they prepare for the sowing of the seeds.
The Harela festival is meant to connect people with nature as well as the environment. Since environmental protection has been in the culture of Uttarakhand, planting saplings annually on Harela is a significant step towards protecting the environment. It’s also a way to celebrate what nature has provided for the people.
H2H also celebrates Harela with farmers and helps them in planting saplings. Himalaya2Home comes out in every possible way to help farmers and save the environment.