The Beautiful and Colourful Harela Mela


Picture source: www.bharatonline.com 

Harela Mela is the fair organised in the Kumaon divison of Uttarakhand to celebrate Harela festival. It is organised from 16 July to 21 July every year in the Ramlila Ground in Bhimtal. It is mostly associated to Shravan Harela, which is celebrated on the very first day of Shravan. Harela literally means "day dedicated to green".
The mythological aspect of the festival is very special. It is believed  that the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place on this very auspicious day. Harela represents the season of fertility which is marked by rainy season.
The festivities of Harela start ten days before the actual Harela. Five or seven types of grain seeds are mixed together and sown in pots.  These pots are filled with mud. This all is done in an organised ceremony headed by the head of the family. One day before the main festival, Shiva and Parvati idols are engaged in a mock wedding ceremony to symbolise their marriage. The green shoots of Harela are then placed on head.
The significance of Harela for the people other than the mythological aspect is to check the quality of their seeds. It acts as a monetary benefit also for the females of the family. Harela is also the day of rest for cattle engaged in the agricultural work.

It is one of the most festively celebrated events of Kumaon.

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