Teej is amongst the beautiful festival that exists in India and celebrates the arrival of the monsoon. It is primarily observed by women living in different parts of India, mainly the north and central parts.
They welcome the monsoon season and nature by songs, prayers, dancing, and performances of various rituals. As agriculture plays a big role in India, Teej plays an essential part in the Hindu culture.
Teej refers to the third day that occurs every month of the new moon (Amavasya) and the third day after the full moon night. Aside from India, women and girls in Nepal also commemorate the Teej Festival.
Here is everything you need to know about the unique and cultural festival.
Why is Teej celebrated?
Similar to many festivals in India that trace back to Hindu mythologies, Teej also has an interesting story. According to Hindu texts, Goddess Parvati is an incarnation of Sati, Lord Shiva’s first wife. Lord Shiva was anguished when she sacrificed herself in protest of her father’s disapproval of the Lord.
To bring Shiva out of his meditative state and accept her as his wife, it took Pravati 108 subsequent births. Thus, at 108th birth, she was born as Goddess Paravati. It is believed that the invocation of Parvati’s blessings during Teej brings about a continuation in marital bliss.
Along with the observation of the monsoon, the Teej festival is also celebrated to mark the union of Parvati and Shiva. Women also dedicate this festival to Goddess Parvati.
Types of Teej and their celebration
During the monsoon season, the festivals are celebrated on the third day of the waxing moon. It takes place in the Hindu month of Shravan. Teej is also observed in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, on the third day of the waxing and waning moons.
Hence, there are three main Teej celebrations which are as follows:
1. Hariyali (Green) Teej
Hariyali Teej is celebrated on the third day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Shravan. It falls in the rainy season where the surrounding is filled with greenery. That is why Shravana Teej is also known as Hariyali Teej.
During Hariyali Teej, a fast is observed by many women as a remembrance to Goddess Parvati who had also abstained from food during this period.
Hariyali Teej is celebrated in the areas of Punjab and Rajasthan. Girls and women dress up in colorful clothes, especially wearing red-colored and finest saris. They also apply Heena to their hands while dancing, singing, performing rituals, and sharing stories during the festival. While boys fly kits, girls gather around in courtyards to play with one another.
Family members including in-laws and husbands offer various gifts like new clothes and accessories to them. Traditional food and sweets are often cooked at home.
2. Kajari Teej
Kajari Teej is celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada, also known as the North Indian Lunar month. This Teej is referred to with different names around regions. In Rajasthan, Kajari Teej is referred to as Badi Teej. It follows the similar custom of gift-giving and dressing up in colorful clothes.
In the state of Uttar Pradesh, women pray to Lord Shiva and sing folk songs known as kajris. The kajri folk song is sung in various other places including the states of Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
Women observe fast and pray to the moon as well as the sacred neem tree (Indian lilac).
3. Hartalika Teej
Hartalika Teej is a major festival and is celebrated on the third day of the month of Bhadrapada. Women remember the union of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva by usually staying up all night to pray.
Goddess Parvati is also worshipped under the name Hartalika and puja is performed by all women.
In all three Teej festivals, dressing up, receiving gifts, fasting, praying, and cooking traditional sweets is observed.
Where can you see the Teej festival?
Jaipur is one the best places to view the celebration of Hariyali Teej. A two-day royal procession takes place in the lanes of the Old City.
The spectacular procession features the idol of Goddess Parvati along with chariots, decorated horses, and camels. Some dancers dance during the procession and transform the lively event.
In Kajari Teej, a rural fair is held for two days in Bundi. A beautiful and colorful parade is seen on the streets.
Teej festival in 2021
This year, the three Teej festivals will take place accordingly:
- Hariyali Teej – 11th August 2021
- Kajari Teej – 25th August 2021
- Hartalika Teej – 11th August 2021
Just like other festivals in India, the Teej festival spreads love and brings people in harmony. It is one of the most anticipated festivals due to its significance and rituals.
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