In news- Harela festival is celebrated across Uttarakhand.
About Harela festival-
- Harela means ‘day of green’ and it is a festival of greenery, peace, prosperity and environmental conservation.
- It is celebrated as the monsoon starts and is considered one of the most important festivals in the entire Kumaon region.
- The festival is celebrated in the month of Shravan (the fifth month of the Hindu lunar calendar) to worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
- The seeds of five to seven types of crops such as maize, til (sesame), urad (black gram), mustard, oats are sown in donas (bowl made of leaves) or ringalare (hill bamboo baskets) nine days before the festival.
- These crops are harvested on the ninth day and distributed to neighbours, friends and relatives.
- The flourish of the crops symbolises prosperity in the year ahead.
- A day before the festival, people make clay statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, known as Dikare, and worship them.
- Harela is also linked to the Barahnaza system (12 types of crops), a crop diversification technique followed in the region of Garhwal.
- During the festival, people also sing songs in the kumaoni language.
- It is called Hariyali/Rihyali in the Kangra, Shimla and Sirmour region, Dakhrain in Jubbal and Kinnaur regions of Himachal Pradesh.
- In Garhwal region, the festival is celebrated as Mol-Sankranti or as Rai-Sagrān.