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Teej Festival Essays

Teej Festival in Nepal

Teej or Haritalika Teej is the greatest festival of Hindu women all over Nepal, which is celebrated for marital happiness, husband’s longevity and purification of one’s body and soul. Teej festival is dedicated to lord Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, Himalaya (the father of Lord Parvati) promised Parvati’s marriage with Lord Shiva. Since the decision was against Parvati’s wish, she asked her friend to abduct (harit) her. The friend (aalika) abducted and took her to a thick forest where Parvati made a Shiva Linga out of her hair and prayed. Lord Shiva was impressed with her prayer and gave his words to marry her. Therefore, Teej celebration is highly associated with husband and marriage. It is also said that the fasting during Teej is specially to get the man you desire (for unmarried girls) and for husband’s longevity (for married woman).

When Teej is celebrated

According to Nepalese calendar, Teej festival falls on the 3rd day of Bhadra Shukla Pakshya i.e. late August or early September. This year, Teej falls on 19 Bhadra 2073 (August 4, 2016).

How Teej Festival is celebrated

Since Teej is the festival of women and girls, they celebrate it by gathering together, feasting and dancing. In the past, Teej was when all the women in the family (sisters and mother) gathered together and shared their joys and sorrows. But recently, it is celebrated a bit differently, with a huge Dar party (Teej feast) that is organized weeks before the actual arrival of Teej.

During Teej, all the women and girls are seen in red clothing especially red sari and kurta salwar. Married daughters are called by their parents or brothers in their mother’s house and they celebrate the festival. Interestingly, women do not go to their mother’s house until they are called.

Day 1 or Dar Khane Din

In this day, daughters go to their mother’s house and women assemble together in their finest red clothing and sing devotional songs and feast together. Brothers host the feast and sisters are invited on the day. Women sing songs about their family and social issues, discrimination as well as the struggles they’ve faced. Teej is also a time to express women’s voice through songs. Women appear in full make-up (Sorha Sringar) and dance a lot before they are ready to eat. The main food as Dar includes rice porridge, yogurt, and meat but these days a variety of food is served which is rich and abundant. The feast lasts till midnight after which the strict 24-hour fasting starts.

Day 2 or the Fasting Day

In this day, a strict fasting is observed by women and girls. Some women do not even take a single drop of water or food. They take a bath early in the morning and go to a nearby temple for Puja. They offer flowers, fruits and coins to Lord Shiva and his wife Lord Parvati. They sing and dance throughout the day. They also light oil lamps which they believe brings peace and prosperity if lit for a longer time. The women and girls who fast strictly are believed to be blessed with a good husband (for unmarried) and husband’s longevity and prosperity (for married).

Day 3 or Ganesh Chaturthi

In this day, women wake up early in the morning, take a bath and worship the oil lamp and goddess Parvati before consuming any solid food.

Day 4 or Rishi Panchami

On this day, women pay homage to various deities by taking a sacred bath in a nearby river with the red mud found on the roots of sacred Datiwan bush. They bite 365 pieces of the sacred plant’s stem early in the morning and purify themselves. It is believed that performing this ritual will rid women of all the past sins. During the day time, they perform Panchami Puja as well as they sing and dance all day long.

Why Teej festival is celebrated

Teej festival is mainly celebrated for the following reasons.

  • Married women observe Teej fasting for their husband’s longevity, children’s well-being, family happiness as well as peace and prosperity.
  • Unmarried girls and women observe Teej fasting to be blessed by Lord Parvati in order to get a good husband.
  • Both married and unmarried celebrate Teej as it is a way to gather together, sing, dance and share their feelings.
  • Also, women celebrate Teej to purify their body and soul by performing Pooja and singing devotional songs.

Image credit: kaajoo.tumblr.com

Teej FestivalsDateDay
Teej (Hariyali Teej) Festival Date 201813th August 2018Monday
Kajari Teej Festival Date 201829th August 2018Wednesday
Haratalika Teej Festival Date 201812th September 2018Wednesday
Teej (Hariyali Teej) Festival Date 201726th July 2017Wednesday
Kajari Teej Festival Date 201710th August 2017Thursday
Haratalika Teej Festival Date 201724th August 2017Thursday

Introduction Of Teej Festival

In India many festivals are celebrated by Hindus such as Maha Shivratri, Krishna Janamashtami, Raksha Bandhan, Karwa Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami, Dusshera, Diwali, Bhai Dooj, Sakat Chauth, Holi etc.

Teej Is also one of the famous festival among Indians. Majorly Teej festival celebrated in north India such as Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc, and also in Western India like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal. on this days women and girls do fast to celebrate this festival.

Celebration On Teej Festival

On Teej day females do fast for their husband and also perform some rituals for their husband’s long and healthy life. On Teej day women and girls enjoy the Teej together by dancing, singing and playing.

One of the major attraction of this festival is Swings, you’ll often find swings get decorated in villages and homes.

Women do shopping for Teej and wear dresses, suits, sarees, lehangas of bright colors like red, green and yellow. On the day married women pray to God Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to bless them with happy and long married life.

Girls and females apply beautiful designs of mehandi on their hands and feet.

Types Of Teej Festival

There are 3 types of Teej Festival celebrated in India during monsoon season (Shravana and Bhadrapada months) These festivals known as Haryali Teej, Kajari Teej and Hartalika Teej. Though, there is no major difference in celebration of this festival. but all 3 falls at different time and month.

Hariyali Teej

Hariyali Teej comes during Shukla Paksha Tritiya or the third day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu monsoon month of Shravana. Saawan (Shravana) month falls during rainy / monsoon season when everywhere there is greenery. Hariyali Teej also known as a Chhoti Teej comes in Shravana month.

Hariyali Teej is connected to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Haryali Teej festival symbolizes the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Goddess Parvati prayed Lord Shiva to show her devotion for many years and on this day Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife.

Hariyali Teej Customs and Rituals in Different Culture

Sindhara:- On Teej day married daughters receive the gifts by her mothers such clothes, bangles, bindi, mehandi etc.  Ghewar as an sweet has been given to her on this day.

Hariyali Teej in Punjab:- In Punjab females wear new clothes and enjoy the day by shopping, dance geeda, sing traditional songs and make traditional sweets and recipes.

Hariyali Teej in Haryana:- Haryana government has declared Teej Festival gazetted state holiday in Haryana. Government organizations and schools are closed on this day.

People go to fairs with their family, Women do get together and sing folk song and dance in groups. Ladies enjoys swings in courtyard, fairs and parks.

Girls apply henna on their hands. Newly weds girls receive the gifts such as clothes, bangles, mehandi and sweets from her parental home. Kids enjoys flying Kites and welcome the day with full of enthusiasm.

Hariyali Teej in Chandigarh :- In Chandigarh females enjoy their day in Rock Garden. There are special arrangements done on to enjoy the festival. School children present cultural programs etc. Girls and women perform dance and folk song and take rides on camels and swings.

Hariyali Teej in Rajasthan:- Teej fairs are held in most of cities in Rajasthan, but  most attractive and famous fair is Jaipur Teej festival fair organized by state government of Rajasthan, in this junk jewelry, traditional art work and handicrafts are the major attraction for tourists.

People in Rajasthan starts their day by worshipping the lord Shiva and Parvati. Women wears the new clothes, jewelry and sing a local songs to welcome monsoon. People enjoy the day in cultural programs by seeing special dance Ghoomar and folk songs.

Hariyali Teej in Gujrat:- Here Women celebrate by doing Garba dance on Teej to welcome the new season and worship Lord Shiva and Parvati, Females wear new clothes and make special recipes and sweets to distribute and perform their customs and rituals.

Hariyali Teej in Maharashtra:- In Maharashtra women wear green sarees, bangles and jewellery. They distribute coconuts sweets to their friends, relatives and their known.

Kajari Teej

According to hindu calendar Kajari Teej also celebrated during the Krishan Paksh of Bhadrapada month. Kajari teej occur after Raksha Bandhan Festival and before Krishan Janmashtami. Kajari teej known as a badi teej. Women and girls wear new clothes and enjoy the day with folk song and dance. In Uttar Pardesh, Bihar and Rajasthan women celebrate this day by preparing sweets and traditional recipes and greet Lord Shiva and Parvati by singing the traditional folk songs dance and prayers.

Hartalika Teej

Hartalika Teej is celebrated during Shukla Paksha Tritiya of Bhadrapada month according to Hindu calendar. Hartalika Teej occur after one month of Hariyali Teej. Hartalika word made with two words “Harat” and “Aalika” that means “abduction” and “female friends”.

The legend says, that on this day Goddess Parvati was drawn away by her female friends when she was forcefully asked to marriage Lord Vishnu by her father. Her friends took her away from her home in forest where she prayed Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva accepted her prayers and agreed to marry Parvati on this day.

This festival is celebrate in various parts of North India: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Bihar. People enjoy going in fairs temples and worship Lord Shiva and Parvati by singing traditional songs, dance and perform traditional rituals and customs.

On Hartalika teej females do fast and stay without eating any food and drinking water for their husband’s long and healthy life. They sing their folksong and perform traditional rituals and customs.

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