Festivals are important for us, and there are great reasons behind them and I bring you one such today, Harela.
It is said that the Harela festival is celebrated in the Kumaon region and it originated back in 9000 BC, yes, it is that old. It is said that just around the year 9000 BC, there was a severe drought in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand state of India, it did not rain even during the monsoon months. The people living in Kumaon then decided to go spiritual and worshiped Lord Shiva for many days, seeking blessings and getting their problems solved. Lord Shiva was pleased and gave Kumaon the boon of being green. Since then the people of Kumaon celebrate the Harela festival.
This festival is celebrated in the month of Shravan in July and the month of Shravan is dedicated to Lord Shiva. On the first day of Harela, the farmers sow 5 to 7 types of grain in a pot and in farm fields. On the day of the festival, Lord Shiva is worshiped and Bhog (Prasad/Food) is offered to him, an elder member of the house keeps Harela in the ears of all the family members and sings a song, that goes as below (Click here to hear it on YouTube):
जी रये, जागी रये
धरती जस आगव
आकाश जस चाकव है जये
सूर्य जस तराणा
स्याव जर्स बुद्धि हो
दूब जूस फलिये
सिल पिसी भात खाये
जाठी टेकि झाडे जाये
This song is sung for happiness, prosperity, and environmental protection. This year too everyone celebrated the Harela festival in Uttarakhand. The government announced that this day would be celebrated all over Uttarakhand.
These days deforestation is at its peak, trees are cut every year in Uttarakhand, so that new houses, buildings, roads, universities, and infrastructure are being developed. Due to global warming, more natural calamities are observed, and more cases of landslides are happening in Uttarakhand and in the state of Himachal Pradesh where there is a lot of green mountain ranges as part of the Himalaya. This time more than a million trees were planted in Uttarakhand on Harela Day. I also celebrated by planting 2 papaya trees, one sapota tree, and one litchi tree. My friends also celebrated this Day, one of them who is a teacher planted trees with her students. After planting trees, he also explained the meaning of Harela Day and encouraged the students to plant trees.
Trees are very important in today’s world because it is useful to prevent pollution. It is necessary to celebrate this day and replicate the need to make mother earth green again, not only in Uttarakhand but in the whole of India and even the world because due to the cutting of trees in India, pollution is increasing in many areas due to which people are facing diseases.
We appreciate the knowledge that our ancestors left for us, that not only gives us means and reasons to celebrate but at the same time does something for everyone’s well-being, that will keep mother nature healthy and happy for the generations to come. These festivals have a deeper meaning, and not just the celebratory part, that brings out The Good Around Us!