Teej is a joyous festival amongst the Hindus and is mostly celebrated by Nepalese women with great spirit, joy, and love. Teej normally falls on the Nepali month of Bhadra (in the solar calendar, from August to September), and lasts for 3 days.
What does ‘TEEJ’ stand for?
Teej is dedicated to Goddess Parvati for uniting with her love, Lord Shiva and celebrated for the well-being of one’s husband, children, and family. Unmarried ladies also celebrate this festival so that they can get a better husband in the future.
According to the Hindu legends, “Teej” is celebrated for the devotion and love for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati had to take birth for 108 times and keeping unsparing fast all of the life. By this devotion, Lord Shiva granted the wish of being Shiva’s wife.
“Haritalika Teej” is practiced in Nepal. “Harit” means “abduction” and “aalika” means “female friend”. As per legends, Goddess Parvati’s father made a promise with Lord Vishnu to marry her against her wish. Parvati told her friend about this, and her friend helped her to escape from her father and won’t have to marry Lord Vishnu. Goddess Parvati prayed to Lord Shiva, made a Shiva Linga from her hair and showed her devotion. Being impressed by the dedication and devotion, they got married. Since that day, Haritalika Teej is celebrated for the union of “Shiva Parvati” due to the help of her friend.
In a total of three days, this festival combines a sumptuous celebration with red attire, jewelry, dancing, praying and exhausting fasting with females. During their fasting, many don’t even drink a drop of water.
The Three Days of ‘Teej’:
Feast Day, “Dar Khane Din” is the first day of Teej where women come together to a place (especially their parents home) wearing elegant dresses, jewelry and enjoy delicious dishes with their family and friends. This day is considered as “freedom of expression” and they celebrate the festival by dancing and singing.
Fasting Day is the second day of Teej. It is a very strict and rigid fast. Some females prefer fruits and liquids, while some fast without food and even water. Women are in their finest clothing, particularly a red sari and jewelry. They visit their nearest Shiva Temple and offer flowers, fruits, sweets, and money for their prayers. Subsequently, they sing and dance with other females as well.
Rishi Panchami is the last day of Teej. Women satisfy seven saints offering them food, prayers, fruits. They also take bath with red-colored mud (Rato Mato) and brush their teeth with Datiwan (branches of a bush tree). They believe that doing so will purify their body and soul and that they will be forgiven for any of their past mistakes during the time of their menstruation.
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