Harela Mela is a grand celebration that takes place on the occasion of the Harela Festival in Kumaun district in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India. The festival kick starts from the 16th of July and goes on for four days till the 21st of July. The Harela Mela, which is a grand fair takes place in the Ramlila Ground of Bhimtal. The term ‘’Harela’’ literally means a ‘’Day of green’’ and thus, the beginning of Harela Mela marks the onset of the season of Monsoon, welcoming the rains with open arms. The people who hail from agricultural backgrounds in the state, consider the festival all the more auspicious, since its celebration is also associated with the beginning of the season of sowing, and as the old belief and saying goes, ‘’You reap what you sow,’’ the locals believe that if the festival goes well and so does their sowing season, the harvest would most definitely turn out to be great.
According to mythology, the celebration is also widely associated with the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and for this very reason, even today, during this festival, idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are made out of clay and the people worship them, as they celebrate this beautiful and long lasting festival welcoming the harvest of rainy season. These idols are known as Dikars, in their local dialect.
All the local people also come together joyously during the festival to save the environment, as the festival’s name itself highlights the word ‘’Green’’—‘’Hara’’ in ‘’Harela’’ which refers to the beautiful greenery present in our environment. They also sow new seeds to mark the beginning of the rainy season, and meet their relatives, buy new stuff to celebrate the beautiful occasion. The fair happens in a grand scale, and there are rides, shops, and a list of events set up for everyone’s enjoyment.
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