The name Haritalika is associated with the Hartalika Teej's legend. Hartalika is a combination of ‘harat’, which means abduction and ‘aalika’ which means a female friend. So, Haritalika means the abduction of the female friend. This is in accordance with the legend which states that this was the day that Goddess Parvati’s friends abducted her and took her into a dense forest to avoid getting her married off to Lord Vishnu.
Goddess Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva and her father was trying to get her married off to Lord Vishnu. To avoid this issue, her female friends abducted her and avoided the marriage on this day! Finally Goddess Parvati was able to marry Lord Shiva, who she earnestly wanted to marry. She had done many prayers and much penance to entice Lord Shiva to accept her, as Lord Shiva being a ‘Vairaagi’, a renunciate, did not want to get entangled in marriage and worldly bonds and responsibilities of wife and children!
Because of this, Hartalika Teej vrat is observed during the festival of Haritalika. Devotees pray and seek blessings from Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati for marital bliss and a nice progeny. It is a typical practice to read and share the Haritalika legend as part of the Haritalika Teej prayers and vrat sadhana (prayer-practice).