Teej

When we hear “Teej”, we remember our mom, grandmother in red sprees, dancing enjoying with their friends. “Teej” is one of the Hindu festivals that are celebrated by women in many parts of Nepal, India and now all over the world among Nepali and Indians. This is so popular in Nepal that it is a public holiday for women.  “Teej” is celebrated in the month of Sarawan and Bhadra. It is celebrated on the third day of the lunar fortnight. It normally is celebrated one day before Ganesh Chaturthi. “Haitalika” is the combination of two Sanskrit words “Harat” (Kidnap) + “Aaliyah” (Female friend). It refers to the event that took place before mata Parvati got married to Lord Shiva. On the day of Haritalika Teej, women worship Lort Shiva & mata Parvati for blissful married life. They seek their blessing for a happy married life. Now a days unmarried girls also celebrate Teej and take “varta”(Fasting), to get the life partner of their choice. It used to be a tradition that married women would go to their parents house to celebrate teej, however it is not always possible now a days.   Special foods are prepared during this festival which is called “Daar”. It is also a day to call close friends and family for “Daar”. This has become another day to brings friends and family together. Women prepare tasty food and sweets from the heart and call near and dear friends and family. It is culture to wear traditional dress, jewelry and sing devotional songs and dance together until midnight. “Daar” is eaten latenight so that they can have enough calorie preserved for the whole day next day when “Teej Varta” starts.  Women get prepared for extreme fasting for next day which takes place without food and water. Women take a warm bath, wear gold and silver and dress in their red/green/Yellow saree and become like a bride. It is common to sing, and dance for whole day and spend the day with women around which gives them energy throughout the day and forget hunger. Normally staying alone triggers hunger so women try to stay together and enjoy as much as they can. In Kathmandu, pashupatinath Temple, and in other places Shiva temple are very busy during this day. Women devotees goes to worship Lord Shiva, and take blessing for herself and for her beloved husband. Their only wish would be a happy and heavenly conjugal relation like Shiva and Parvati, unfortunately it is not always possible. The last day is known as “Rishi Panchami”. In Nepal People used to take bath in nearby river, and brush teeth using special plant stem. This ritual is slowly not followed anymore due to security and privacy.


Sujata Subedi

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