Sakhi : Lady friend
Kailash : Abode of Shiva
Ratri : Night
Observed on Bhadra Shukla Triteeya by Sadhwa
women folk and unmarried girls. The Tithi may be prevailing completely on
the day, or prevail at Sunrise time and may be followed by Chaturthi and,
in rarest of rare case, when these two are not available may be
preceded by Dwiteeya.
Haritalika is another name of Gauri / Parwati. In this festival "Ardhnareeshwar" form of Lord Shiva and Parwati is worshipped together as Gauri-Shankar or Uma-Maheshwar. Generally women folk fast on this day for the well being of their husband and Akand Saubhagya (Unbroken conjugal life). While others eat only fruits and milk product. Some of them even establish and worship the idol of Uma-Maheshwar, have a sleep less night (Jagran) break the fast only after Visharjan (praying Gods to depart) and Brahman Bhojan (feeding Brahmin). Some girls also fast on this day to get husbands to their liking
STORY: Parwati once asked Mahadev to narrate to her the story of her getting him as husband. Shiv said, "You were born in the house of Himwaan in the Himalayas. From the very beginning you began penance to get me as your husband, unknown to your father. For twelve years you remained hanging upside down and took only smoke. For next sixty four years you remained only on fallen leaves of the Vilwa plant. Seeing all these your father was very disturbed. Once Narad came and proposed your marriage with Vishnu narrating his handsome appearance, his immense wealth, his valor etc. Your father readily agreed and conveyed this news to you.
You were aggrieved by the news and consulted your friends (Sakhi). They advised you to elope with them to a deep forest cave unknown to your father.
There you started your penance afresh. On one Hasta Sanyukta Bhadra Shukla Triteeya you fasted, worshipped my form made up of sand, spent the night singing my hymns. This inspired me to visit you and ask for your wish which promised to fulfil. You asked me to be your husband and I agreed.
You returned to your father and I to Kailash. We were soon married."
Since then those women who fast, worship our sand-image, and observe Ratri Jagran have a very happy conjugal life. Since you were kidnapped by your Sakhis (Aali), you will be known as Haritaali.".