Hariyali Amavasya: In Hindi, the word ‘Amavasya‘ refers to a no-moon day and ‘Hariyali’ refers to greenery. Hariyali Amavasya is thus a festival which is celebrated on a no-moon day to welcome the month of monsoon. It is celebrated on the first Amavasya of Saavan which is the period of July-August as per the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated by people in Northern India especially in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. The day corresponds with Ashada Amawas and Chaluka Amawas in different states.
On this auspicious day, people worship Lord Shiva. Their prayers are directed toward hoping for a fruitful monsoon season which will yield good agricultural produce. Shiva temples across the country arrange a special day for Shiva Darshan. In Mathura, devotees of Lord Krishna visit the Dwarkadish temple and offer prayers. In Vrindavan, people visit Banke Bihari temple to do the same. Here, the Phool Bangal Utsav ends on the day of Hariyali Amavasya. A mass ‘puja’ is organised in Jaipur too.
Hariyali Amavasya Fairs
In Udaipur, the celebration includes setting up of a fair. This fair goes on for three days. Stalls of food, games, rides, clothes and jewellery are set up. The famous dish of Rabri Malpua is available in plentiful. Energetic vendors voice themselves out loud. The fair witnesses an atmosphere of fun and frolic. The fair attract people, young and all, not only from the town in which it is set up, but also tourists from all across the country like to visit it. This results in developing a platform of national integration.
Historically, it is believed that Maharana Fateh Singh, the architect of the famous Fatehpur Sagarwas, was the first to set up the fair. He observed that a lot of water of the Dewali pond was being wasted and hence converted it into a reservoir which was used to fulfill people’s needs. On its completion, a fair was set up on the moonless night of the rainy season which began being celebrated as the Hariyali Amawas. Eventually, the fair was set up by the then ruling kings for the common people. What is amazing is that the tradition continues till date.
The fair is spread out from Saheliyonki Baari to Fatehsagar. Apart from the stalls, the fair is adorned with beautiful and colorful costumes, traditional music and dance. The marvelous combinations of these provide entertainment to everyone and they absolutely enjoy themselves. Even though both men and women are a part of this fair, the last day of the fair is usually reserved for women.
On this day, the men are not allowed to enter the fair. All the women pray for the prosperity of their families with all their heart. The Collector of Udaipur declares this as a holiday for schools and government offices. Not only this, schools and clubs also have cultural programs to commemorate this day. Ceremonies of tree plantation are held across places. A visit to this fair is a must-awaited affair.