Festivals are a way of expressing our gratitude to nature or spiritual forces for helping us stay in good health. It is a reason for the entire family to gather and celebrate a day with lots of laughter, fun and happiness. We all eagerly wait for certain festivals so that we can meet the people we love, go back to the and get a pleasurable break from our routine.
India has always been associated with vibrant, colourful and boisterous people who thoroughly love and enjoy celebrating innumerable festivals. Teej is one such festival that is celebrated with utmost grandeur mostly in North India.
Teej is celebrated at the beginning of monsoon. During the Hindu month of Shravan, Teej is celebrated as a sign of gratitude to the greenery and natural beauty that comes along with monsoon rains. It falls on the third day of the first fortnight of the Shravan month.
It is called Hariyali Teej since the monsoon turns the surroundings green (hariyali means greenery). Teej festival is also celebrated to honour the unification of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.
According to a legend, Goddess Parvathi underwent 108 different births through a tremendously herculean penance in order to unite with a man like Lord Shiva. Pleased by the dedication of Goddess Parvathi, Lord Shiva is believed to have accepted her as his wife.
During this time, married women undergo fasting for the wellness and long life of their husbands, while unmarried women fast hoping that they are fortunate enough to marry a man like Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvathi is an icon of this festival.
How And Where Is The Festival Celebrated?
Apart from the popular Hariyali Teej, various other forms of Teej are celebrated, either differently or during a different time. In Rajasthan, Kajari Teej, which falls on the third day of Bhadrapada fortnight, is known as badi Teej or bigger Teej while the Hariyali Teej is known as chota Teej or smaller Teej. Hartalika Teej is another form of the festival.
This festival, which mainly focuses on women, involves a gathering of women who sing, dance, wear festive clothes and decorate their hands and feet with henna. It is mainly celebrated in northern and western parts of India, Nepal and very few parts of South India like Telangana.
The festival goes on for three days, where women are elaborately dressed in red, green or yellow sarees and each day has its own significance. On the first day, women enjoy a scrumptious meal which is supposed to be prepared by their husbands.
Day two involves fasting for the entire day, where they listen to Teej Katha or the story of the festival while praying for the wellness of their husbands. Only after they witness the full moon do the women proceed to eat. Day three is meant for offering prayers to their deities.
Since Teej is a monsoon festival, it usually falls in the months of July or August. Visit states like Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh to completely enjoy, relish or witness this beautiful festival.