Teej Celebrations At The Onset Of Shravan, Immortalising The Love Of Shiva-Parvati!
Come monsoon and the air is full of fragrance and coolness! It also ushers in the celebration of the Teej festival. According to Hindu Mythology, in the month of Shravan, Goddess Parvati was reunited with Lord Shiva after a penance of 100 years. The very basis of this festival is the celebrations of the onset of monsoon and celebrating the union of Shiv-Parvati.
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The Main Deity of Teej is
Impressively Divine Variations Of Teej Festival
It is a festival celebrating the union of the divine couple Shiva and Parvati. After 100 years of fasting by Parvati, Lord Shiva accepted her as his wife. On this day, Parvati fasted to impress her lord. So women fast for their husbands for a long and healthy life on this day. Newly married women receive ‘Sindhara’ from their in-laws namely clothes, jewellery and sweets. Women wear new clothes and adorn their hands with Mehendi.
Falling on the third day of Shravan, Kajari Teej is celebrated with much fanfare symbolizing the love and devotion of the wives towards their husbands. On this day, women dress up in traditional saris, wear odhnis and gather around the Neem tree. They then perform puja of the tree and sing songs in honour of Lord Krishna. Looking up at the dark clouds of monsoon, ladies swing on the swings and dance to ‘Ghoomar’ a Rajasthani folk dance.
This is the biggest of the Teej celebrations. Falling on the 3rd day of the first fortnight of Bhadra month, it is a three day festival. It is celebrated in honour of Goddess Parvati. On this day, women fast without even drinking a drop of water. By this fast, they pray for a long life for their husband and unmarried girls pray to be blessed with a husband like Shiva.
North India Swings With Religious Fervour!
Teej Festival, though celebrated all over India and abroad, it is most fervently celebrated in Bihar, Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Teej is also known as the festival of Swings. In gardens, swings are intricately decorated with flowers and tied to trees. Women swing on them and sing traditional Teej songs. The lush greenery of the monsoon kindles the romance in every heart and adds to the magic of the festival!
The Rituals Are In Keeping Up With The Customary Spirit Of Traditions!
The celebrations are generally in keeping in touch with traditions. Women follow the customs connected to Teej diligently. Women return to their parents’ home during this time. They are presented with Sindhara from their in-laws which are a packet of laheria dress, lac bangles and henna. A woman is supposed to adorn herself with them. ‘Ghewar’ a famous sweet too is a part of the gift pack.
Baya is another packet which is gifted to the girls for fasting by their mothers. It has sweets, dry fruits, new clothes, bangles and jewellery.
Adorning oneself is most important during this festival. Women shop well in advance. They wear traditional laheria-tie and dye dresses, saris, odhnis and salwar suits all in vibrant colours of red, yellow and greens. Jewellery is worn by them and also gifted to them generously.
Fasting is another custom they observe for a full 24 hour with neither food nor water. As per the fasting ritual, the women should keep an oil lamp burning the whole night and if the lamp is put off it is considered as a bad omen.
Decorating the idol of Goddess Parvati and taking out processions is of utmost importance. And of course tying swings and swinging on them singing songs is another fun-filled custom.
The Sweetness Of Teej Enhanced
The women fast and wish for a long and healthy life for their husbands. They are rewarded with a lot of sweets as gifts. The one traditional sweet, which has always been very popular during the Teej season, is Ghevar, better known as Honeycomb dessert. In the Braj areas of Agra and Mathura, during Teej season this sweet has over-taken the demands of traditional petha and peda.
‘Ghevar’ is a circular disc made of flour, fried in round moulds. It is then soaked in sugar syrup. Finally, it is topped with rabri and dry fruits. The varieties include Mawa, Malai or Plain. It is the traditional sweet from Rajasthan, where the Teej Festival originated. Now it comes in many attractive colours, absolutely right for this vibrant festival. Pure ghee makes it distinct and tasty.
The Appeal Of Teej, Is National And International, But Regional Enthusiasm Overtakes!
All the states in India celebrate Teej with great fervour and glory. It is a women’s festival which is celebrated with extreme joy and enthusiasm. And rightly so, as it is not every time they get the opportunity to seek the blessings of Goddess Parvati for a long and healthy life for their husbands. Fasting too makes them realize, the penance Parvati undertook for her Lord Shiva. Hence, both married as well as unmarried girls celebrate it with great devotion .
Its a fact that no other state celebrates Teej with the diligence and love as the state of Jaipur, which is the capital city of Rajasthan. All over the state, there are processions carrying the bedecked idol of Parvati. Women dressed in the best finery are seen singing and dancing in this procession.
Teej is celebrated with utmost gaiety in
Gujarat pays it obeisance by dressing up in Chania-Choli and performing the Raas and Garba.
Punjab has women dressed in heavy Punjabi suits of vibrant colours and singing songs. Organizing Teej Fairs popularly referred to as Teelan is a unique feature of celebrations in this state. Even Nepal has followed this beautiful tradition and women here dress up in red and go to Pashupatinath Temple to pray for their better-half’s long and healthy life.