Festival Of Teej
Teej is one of the most sacred Hindu festivals observed in India. It is observed in different parts of the country by womenfolk to seek blessings for their husband’s long life. Teej is marked by fasting of women who pray to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, seeking their blessings for marital bliss. It is a series of festivals that occur during the Hindu month of Shravana (Sawan) and Bhadrapada (Bhado), that corresponds to the Indian monsoon season of July-August-September.
There are three types of Teej festivals celebrated during the monsoon months. The first is Hariyali Teej, also known as Chhoti Teej or Shravana Teej, which falls on Shukla Paksha Tritiya–the third day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu monsoon month of Shravana. This is followed by Kajari Teej (Badi Teej), which comes after 15 days of Hariyali Teej. The third type of Teej, Haritalika Teej, comes one month after Hariyali Teej, which is observed during Shukla Paksha Tritiya, or the third day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. Though customs may differ from state to state, the unifying factor is that women of all state seek the blessings of marital happiness and long life of their husband.
It is believed that the name of this festival comes from a small red insect called ‘Teej’ that emerges from the earth during the monsoon season. Hindu mythology has it that on this day, Parvati came to the Shiva’s abode, marking the union of husband and wife. It demonstrates the sacrifice of a wife to win the mind and heart of the husband. Teej is celebrated to honor the devotion of Parvati, who is also known as ‘Teej Mata,’ by those who observe this auspicious day when women seek her blessings for a happy married life and a good husband.
Teej is not a pan-Indian festival. It is mainly celebrated in Nepal and the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab in various forms.
Teej Festival Celebrations :
Women gather in a place to install the idol of Ma Parvati and offer flowers, fruits, sweets, ‘sindoor’ or vermillion. On or two persons read out the Teej Vrat Katha. Unmarried girls also devotedly listen to the Katha. In some places, after the ‘puja’ women follow the custom of bathing themselves with mud around the Datiwan plant to be rid of their bad karma. A very important ritual is to light an oil lamp that is supposed to be lit uninterruptedly through the night.
Women apply ‘mehendi’ (floral patterns made with henna paste) on their hands and feet, wear beautiful sarees with matching bangles and ornaments on this day. Usually, green is the more favoured colour especially during ‘Hariyali Teej’. Those observing Teej get cosmetic items and jewellery for ‘Shringara’ by their parents. Women offer decorated coconut to their relatives. They visit their maternal home and seek the blessings of the elderly and enjoy a get together with family members.
The festivals for women, include dancing, singing, getting together with friends and telling stories, dressing up with henna-coloured hands and feet, wearing red, green or yellow clothes, sharing festive foods, and playing under trees on swings on Haryali Teej.
Some women do ‘vrata’ or fast by consuming only fruits and some do ‘nirjala’ vrata without a drop of water and also refrain from sleep. During Kajri Teej, women gather around the holy neem tree and pay obeisance to the neem plant.
A variety of regional traditional sweet dishes are made such as ‘ghevar’, ‘kheerpuri’, ‘nariyalladdoo’, ‘badamkahalwa’, ‘sheera’, ‘gujiya’ and ‘kajukatli’ are prepared during Teej, as family members and groups of married women get together.
Teej will be celebrated on 26th July (Wed), 2017 and Hartalika teej will be celebrated on August 24 (Thursday), 2017
PICTURE CREDIT : indiamarks.com