Hartalika Teej is known by this name due to the legend associated with it. Hartalika word is combination of "Harat" and "Aalika" which means "abduction" and "female friend" respectively. According to the legend of Hartalika Teej, the friend of Goddess Parvati took her to the thick forest so that her father can't marry her to Lord Vishnu against her wish.
On the sudden disappearance of Goddess Parvati, her father thought that someone has kidnaped his daughter. Hence this day is known as Hartalika or Haritalika.
As legend goes, Goddess Parvati did severe penance in the forest to please Lord Shiva. Due to great determination of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva blessed her that her wish to marry Him would be fulfilled. As friend of Goddess Parvati helped her to get Lord Shiva as her husband, this day is also marked as the solidarity of friendship among female friends.
Hartalika Teej Vrat is observed during Shukla Paksha Tritiya of Bhadrapada month. On this day, makeshift statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are made with the sand and worshipped for marital bliss and progeny.
The morning time is considered good to perform Hartalika Puja. If morning Puja is not possible due to some reason then Pradosh time is also considered good to perform Shiva-Parvati Puja. Teej Puja should be done after taking early bath and getting dressed up with fine clothes. Sand made Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati should be worshipped and legend of Hartalika should be narrated during the Puja.
Religious text Vratraj gives detailed Vidhi to perform Hartalika Puja. Generally, Hartalika Teej is considered to be females only festival. However, nowhere in Vratraj it is mentioned that it is female only Puja. The main Puja steps given in Vratraj are as following –