Teej- The largest celebration of Hindu Women
Teej is the fasting festival of women in Nepal. Married women observe Teej fast to honor Lord Shiva and for long and healthy life of their husband. Unmarried girls also observe fast on this day for a good husband. Teej is a festival celebrated for the long life of her husband and long and firm relationship between them until the death this life and all the lives to come. Teej is observed for marital happiness, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul. Teej is the most famous festival among Nepali women.
Teej celebrations last for three pious days. Traditional dances and songs form an important feature of Teej celebrations. Red color is considered auspicious for women observing Teej fast and so most of them dress up in red or bridal clothes.
The folk music and dances add more flavor to traditional values of Teej. It is fascinating to see women, in “Red” dancing and singing on the street, going to temple in holy and fasting mood. Teej is also called Hari Talika Teej.
When is Teej
Teej is celebrated on 3rd day of Bhadra Sukala Paksha (according to Nepali lunar calendar). It generally falls in late August or early September
Teej is traditionally dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, remembering her union with Lord Shiva. It is a three-day-long celebration that combines splendid feasts as well as rigid fasting.
Teej also welcomes and celebrates arrival of monsoon after a season of summer heat.
Teej is on 12 September 2018. That is on 2075 Bhadra 27.
Three Days of Teej
Teej is a three-day-long festival in Nepal and each day has its own significance.
- First day is called 'Dar Khane Din', the day to make merry.
- Second day is a 'fasting day'.
- The third day is called 'Rishi Panchami' in Nepal which is a day to perform Teej Puja.
Dar Khane Din
The first day of Teej in Nepal is called the 'Dar Khane Din'. On this day, the womenfolk dressed in the finest clothed gather at one place and perform traditional dance and sing devotional songs. A special food called 'dar' is eaten. Celebrations continue till midnight after which the 24-hour-long fast begins.
The second or the fasting day of the Teej festival is dedicated to pujas and prayers. The holy Pashupatinath temple is thronged by women in red sarees to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. Women gather in the temple and circumambulate the Lingam (phallic symbol of the Lord) adorned with flowers, sweets and coins. The beautifully decorated idols of Shiva and Parvati are offered fruits and flowers to seek blessings of the divine spirits. Lighting of an oil lamp is very important part of the puja ceremony. It is said that the oil lamp should be kept lit all night to avoid bad omen.
The third day of the Teej Festival is called Rishi Panchami. On this day, the seven sages of the Hindu pantheon are worshiped by women in a belief that it will cleanse all sins of the previous year. Womenfolk take a holy bath with red mud found on the roots of the sacred Datiwan bush, along with its leaves. After three hours of rigorous cleansing, they come out purified and absolved from all sins. After this they sit in a semicircle while a priest sitting in the middle chants devotional prayers