Harela, the festival commemorating the new harvest in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, was celebrated in several areas on Friday. Harela is celebrated as the monsoon starts and is considered one of the most important festivals in the entire Kumaon region. Uttarakhand, which is believed to be the mythological abode of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva, celebrates Harela with much pomp and show as it falls on Lord Shiva’s favourite month.
To celebrate this festival dedicated to Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati saplings are planted by various societies, associations, and the government. On the occasion of World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5, the Uttarakhand police started a massive tree plantation campaign, under which one lakh saplings were to be planted in police premises by July 16, which is the day Harela is celebrated.
“This is a very difficult time for human life, if we do not take care of the environment even now, then destruction is certain. It is everyone’s responsibility, we are responsible for the changes happening in the environment at present, especially the melting of glaciers which is the biggest sign that there is going to be a big crisis on life on earth. Life is becoming difficult in land and water, many species are going extinct.” said Ashok Kumar, director general of police (DGP), Uttarakhand.
Preparations to celebrate Harela begins 10 days before the actual event is due. Around five to seven types of seeds are sown in small buckets and watered every day. Harela is celebrated with hopes of a good harvest and bringing happiness and prosperity to households.