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. This year the Hariyali Amavasya festival was celebrated on 2nd and 3rd of August. Udaipur observed the onset of Monsoon during the start of this month which added to the Joy of Festivity.
In Udaipur, the celebration includes setting up of a fair. This fair goes on for two 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 tribals from around Udaipur who come in their traditional attire and jewellery.
Historically, it is believed that Maharana Fateh Singh Ji, 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 to be celebrated as the Hariyali Amavasya. 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 Saheliyon ki 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.
Here are the few glimpses of Hariyali Amavasya Mela 2016.