Teej is termed as a generic name for three major festivals, as celebrated in Northern India and Nepal. This festival is a mark to welcome monsoon season and celebrated by ladies and girls. This festivity is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and her holy reunion with Lord Shiva. In a generic sense, Teej refers to the 3rd day of a new month, just after Amavasya or new moon. Three types are merged to form this festivity; Kajari Teej, Haryali Teej, and Hartalika Teej. Apart from these parts, Awra Teej is mainly celebrated during lunar Vaisakh month in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Teej is observed by women for wellness of their better-halves. At present, the focus has changed to celebrate freedom of expression.
Traditional areas of teej celebration
Teej festival is celebrated in various major parts of India; Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Chandigarh. In Punjab, this festival is stated as Teeyan and considered to be a seasonal festival. It is celebrated by women from different faiths. They gather together to perform Gidda, where married women visit their families. Traditionally, women also ride on swings, as a part of tradition. Colorful salwar kameez forms the main costume during this festival. Both subtle and colorful options are available, with silver or golden embellishments.
Other places of interest
Other than Punjab, Chandigarh administration makes special arrangements for Teej. Cultural programs with the performance of school children make these programs worthwhile. Female members of families are given gifts and dresses, as part of the celebration. In Haryana, Haryali Teej is the most noteworthy one, mainly with Ahir, Gujjar, and Jat communities. For Rajasthan, Teej is the swing festival. It is performed to pay respect to Shravan month when swings are hung from large trees for girls. Women, wearing green colored garments sing to celebrate the advent of monsoon month.
Perfect way of celebration
Teej festival mainly centers on fasting ritual, followed by colorful celebrations. Designed mainly for womenfolk, song, swing rides and dance forms the basic center of this festivity. Swings are even placed in the courtyard and decked beautifully with flowers. Married women and youngsters apply mehndi on their palm as a mark of purity.
Apart from salwar kameez, you will see women flaunting designer sarees, well embellished with colorful stones. Special sweet, Ghewar is prepared as main Prasad.
Importance of teej festival
The importance of this festival is two-fold. Firstly, it celebrates the victory of devotion and love of a wife towards her husband, symbolizing the union of Lord Parvati and Shiva. Secondly, Teej ushers monsoon month. Here, people can take a break from sultry summer months and enjoy the first drop of water on their agricultural lands.
Preferred process to follow
Married and young women gather at nearby religious shrine to take part in Puja. Main puja takes place with sweets, coins and offering of flowers. A semi-circle is created, and an idol of Goddess Parvati is kept in the middle. Women now start chanting the holy Teej Katha. After the katha gets over, fruits and flowers are distributed among devotees. They seek blessings from Goddess Parvati for their husband’s wellness. It is a celebration of dance, joy and happiness to mark unending love.