The Teej festival is an important festival for married women and a much anticipated monsoon festival. It’s dedicated to celebrating the holy union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and the flourish of nature during the monsoon.
When is the Festival Celebrated?
“Teej” refers to the third day after the new moon and the third day after the full moon, every month. During the monsoon season, these festivals are celebrated on the third day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Shravan, and on the third day of the waning and waxing moons in the Hindu month of Bhadrapad. This means that there are actually three Teej festivals — known as Haryali (Green) Teej, Kajari/Kajli Teej and Hartalika Teej.
How is the Festival Celebrated?
Women come together to fast and pray all night. In the morning, they bathe to purify themselves, and dress up in their finest red saris and jewelry to worship Goddess Parvati. Girls engaged to be married receive a gift from their future in-laws on the day before the festival.
They also get their hands decorated with henna, accompanied by the singing of special Teej festival songs.
More about Teej :
According to Hindu texts, Parvati is an incarnation of Lord Shiva’s first wife, Sati. Lord Shiva became grief-stricken and withdrawn after she immolated herself in protest of her father’s disapproval of him. It took her 108 subsequent births to bring Shiva out of his meditative state and get him to accept her as his wife again. Her 108th birth was as Goddess Parvati. The invocation of Parvati’s blessing during the festival is believed to bring about continued marital bliss.
Where is the Festival Celebrated?
The Teej festival is widely celebrated in northern and western India, particularly in the desert state of Rajasthan. From a tourist perspective, the best place to experience it is in Jaipur, where the festivities are the grandest and most renowned during Haryali Teej.