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Teej Festival

Date: 24th Aug, 2017

Teej is the festivity of swings. It marks the onset of Shravan or the monsoon month. The monsoon rains falls on the baked land and the soothing fragrance of the wet soil spreads into the air. Teej is basically a festival for women and dedicated to Goddess Parvati. Celebrating her unification with Lord Shiva on Teej, the Goddess Parvati is worshipped by women to seek happiness and conjugal bliss. The multihued festival is also popular as the “Festival of Swings”. Women on the branches of trees tie swings, deck them with fresh flowers and then take pleasure in swinging. Commemorated in and around Rajasthan, the festival of Teej greets the season of monsoon.

Legends Associated with Teej Festival

The festival of Teej began from an age-old myth of Goddess Parvati. Hindu folklores states that on this day Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati reunited. The resolute Goddess passed through staunch penance or tapasya and took birth 108 times on the earth. The Hindu mythological tales also mentions that she failed 107 times and in her 108 birth, Lord Shiva realized her chaste devotion and affection and accepted her as his wife.

The reunion of both the divine beings created a magical moment on earth. It is also said that the Goddess proclaimed this special moment to be highly propitious for women. Womenfolk express their gratitude, thankfulness and worship the Goddess Parvati for blissful married life.

Types of Teej Festival

In the cheerful and lively state of Rajasthan three kinds of Teej fair are rejoiced and women venerate holy beings.

Haryali Teej- On this day, Moon God is worshipped by women for a happy and prosperous life.

Kajrari Teej- Women perform Puja of neem tree and gather to sing holy hymns

Hartalika Teej- It is the most difficult one as women observe stern fast for 3 days devoid of taking even water.

Customs and Traditions of Teej

Tradition to Adorn Themselves
The cheerful festival of Teej encapsulates happiness, vigor, energy, and mirth. Women wear yellow, red, and red attires and decorate their palms and feet with exquisite mehandi designs. As a part of tradition, women generally hide the name of their husbands in the mehandi design and later ask their husbands to find out their name. This ritual becomes a playful activity and adds vim and vigor to Teej celebrations.

Teej Fast
It is a momentous part of Teej celebrations. Married women observe fast on this day and pray for the longevity, prosperity and happiness of their husband. Some unmarried girls also keep fast on Teej. The fast kept by women on Teej is quite strenuous and wherein a woman doesn’ t eat and drink for 24 long hours.

Ritual of Lighting a Lamp
According to the custom of Teej fasting, a woman ought to keep an oil lamp lit all night long. It is considered as a bad omen if the oil lamp dies away.

Worshipping of Goddess Parvati
The most vital custom of Teej festival is to embellish the idol of Goddess Parvati and carry out the propitious processions of Goddess on the streets. Well-decked statues of Parvati Mata are bedecked with dazzling ornaments and new clothes. The day of fasting for women is very important as all married women pray to Goddess for a happy and long marital life.

Swings
Last but not the least, taking swings, are the common tradition, which is enjoyed by women. Exquisitely bedecked swings are hung on the branches of trees and gaily dressed up women sing songs and take pleasures of swinging with their friends.