India is known for its rich culture all over the world. This richness of our country instigates mainly from the festivals celebrated here. One of those festivals popularly celebrated all over the country is TEEJ.
Teej is a festival celebrated mainly in Northern and Central India and Nepal. This festival is celebrated at the beginning of monsoon mainly by women as they sing, dance and pray rituals, and fast.
Types of Teej
According to the Hindu calendar, Teej is celebrated during Shravan and Bhadrapada (monsoon season) month. Women pray to Lord Shiva and Parvati during Teej to celebrate their reunion, which is the main reason to celebrate Teej. Women also celebrate teej for their husbands for long life and maintain a healthy and long relationship with their husbands.
There 4 Teej celebrated in India-
It comes with the first drops of monsoon as there is green in the surrounding. It is celebrated during the third full moon of Shravan of the Hindu calendar, and it is known as Chhoti Teej. Women keep fast to celebrate this day.
Haryali Teej is mainly celebrated as that is when Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife after her 108th birth because of her fast she kept for many years. And thus, Goddess Parvati is also regarded as Teej Mata.
This Teej is celebrated by mothers giving their married daughters Sindhara. Sindhara means gifts in Sarees, Bangles, Ghevar (a type of sweet), etc.
The Haryali Teej is mainly celebrated in the region of Rajasthan and Punjab.
Also Read: Krishna Janmashtami – History, Significance
It is also known as Badi Teej. It is celebrated during the third day of the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu calendar.
During this Teej, women in Uttar Pradesh pray to Lord Shiva, and they have the custom to sing folk songs, which are known as Kajris. These folk songs’ composition is composed in the Northern Regions of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan. Women in this Teej festival keep fast without having food and water and break it by having Sattu, and they pray to the Neem Tree.
This Teej is an important festival celebrated mainly in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand. This Teej has an ancient significance as Goddess Parvati’s father Himavat, on Narada’s advice, decided to perform the marriage of Goddess Parvati to Lord Shiva.
Upon hearing this, Parvati went to her friend Aalika and said her that her father wanted to make her marry Lord Vishnu against her will, so Aalika took Parvati to a forest so that her father could not make her marry Lord Vishnu. In the forest on the third day of Bhadrapada.
Parvati made a Shiva Linga from her hairs and worshipped it. This made Lord Shiva impressed, and he promised her to marry Parvati. Later, Lord Shiva married Parvati with the blessings of her father, Himavat. So this Teej is named after her friend Aalika took her to the forest (Harit) to marry Lord Shiva.
Women celebrate this Teej by staying awake all night, listening to prayers and remembering Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati’s weeding and keeping fast. The fast is broken at the end of the next day, and they pray to Goddess Parvati.
Celebration of Teej in Nepal
In Nepal, the HARTALIKA TEEJ is a three-day celebration done by the women for their husband for their long and happy bond with them. The government of Nepal even made this Teej as a National Holiday over there. Teej has a traditional background in Nepal.
A long time ago, the King of Himalaya known as Himavat had a beautiful daughter Parvati. He decided to perform her marriage with Lord Vishnu, but Parvati wanted to marry The God of destruction, Lord Shiva.
Upon hearing that her father wanted her to marry Lord Vishnu, she ran away with her friend Aalika in the forest where she prayed for Lord Shiva. To test her, Lord Vishnu went to her disguised as a wealthy person and offered her to marry him, but she didn’t change her mind, and this impressed Lord Shiva, and he married her with the blessings of Himavat.
So the day of their marriage is celebrated as Teej in Nepal. The Teej puja in Nepal starts in August and lasts up to September (Bhadra month in Nepal)
In Nepal, the Teej is celebrated on consecutive three days:
- First Day
On this day, all the women in Nepal start the preparation for a grand dinner, which consists of much delicious food and a wide variety of sweets. They start the preparation from very early morning, all the streets of Nepal are covered by women, shopping and collecting food items required for the grand dinner, and at night all the relatives, family members, and friends gather together for dinner along with traditional music and dances which ends at midnight.
- Second Day
This day is also marked as Nepali Women’s Day.
On this day, both the married and unmarried women fast and pray to Lord Shiva. The married women pray for their husband’s and family’s long life and their healthy and long relationship with their husband, while the unmarried women pray for a good husband.
On this day, all women wear red saree along with their gorgeous accessories and jewelry. This is their dress code for this auspicious day. The streets of Nepal can’t be seen in any color except red that day.
On this day, the women can break their fast with splendid and expensive food.
Before that, they take the holy bath, where women cover themselves in red mud and take the symbolic bath, which refers that all their sins are pardoned, and after that, they worship Lord Ganesh so that their previous wishes are fulfilled. This day is known as Rishi Panchami. The Teej puja in Nepal is one of the grand celebrations.