Teej Festival - Festivals of India
Teej 2020 Dates
Haryali Teej - 23 July 2020
Kajari Teej - 6 August 2020
Haritalika Teej - 21 August 2020
About Teej Festival
Teej is predominantly a festival of married Hindu women celebrated in various parts of India and Nepal.
Teej means third and is celebrated on the third day after Amavasya (the new moon). It is a series of festivals that occur during the Hindu months of Shravana & Bhadrapada, that correspond to the months of July-August-September, every year.
Teej comprises 3 separate teej festivals:
- Hariyali Teej
- Kajari Teej
- Hartalika Teej
Teej is widely celebrated in Western and Northern India with regional variations though in essence it celebrates 2 things:
- The reunion of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati
- The advent of the monsoon season
Legend has it that Goddess Lakshmi had to take 108 births to make Lord Shiva realize the extent of her love for him and to be accepted by him as his wife.
Married women seek the blessings of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva on this occassion so that they are blessed with a long, happy married life and continued marital bliss.
The festivities are the grandest in Rajasthan, especially in Jaipur, where a large number of visitors pour in from within and outside the country to see and enjoy the festivities.
Teej is also called the Festival of Swings
Red Velvet Mite (Trombidium)
It is believed that Teej festival gets its name from a small red insect, the red velvet mite (pictured above) which makes its appearance during the monsoon. However, it is unclear whether the mite is named after the festival or vice-versa.
The story of Teej is as follows:
Goddess Shakti, as Devi Sati, was the wife of Lord Shiva. Her father though was disrespectful to Lord Shiva. She set herself ablaze with a vow that she would take rebirth as the daughter of a father who would respect her husband.
Devi Parvati was thus born to Lord Himavat. Lord Shiva had gone into penance after Devi Sati's death and did not acknowledge her presence. Devi Parvati did not lose heart but decided to undergo a self imposed penance till Lord Shiva realized her devotion and accepted her as his wife.
Lord Shiva finally accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife on this day, the third day of the month of Shravan and Teej festival is thus a celebration of this reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Goddess Parvati promised that any woman who fasts and prays for her husband would receive her blessings and be granted a long, healthy and happy married life.
Hariyali Teej Festival
Hariyali teej, popularly known as Teej, is also called Chhoti Teej, Shravana Teej and Sindhara Teej.
It usually falls two days before Nag Panchmi festival.
It is celebrated on the third day of the Indian month of Shravan. It is celebrated mainly in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra and in certain parts of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar.
Married women come to their parent's home to celebrate teej. Parents give a gift bucket called Sindhara which contains homemade sweets, ghewar, henna, Leheria sarees and lac bangles. Hariyali Teej is therefore called Sindhara Teej.
In Jaipur, on this occassion, the idol of Goddess Parvati is taken out in a large procession which passes through the old city. The procession includes antique palanquins, chariots, decorated elephants, camels, horses, brass bands and dancers starting from Tripolia Gate and ending at Chaugan Stadium.
Hariyali Teej Procession
Kajari teej, also called Kajli teej and Badi teej, comes 15 days after Hariyali teej. It is celebrated during the dark fortnight of the Bhadrapada month, on the third day of the waning moon of the month of Bhadon.
Kajari teej is celebrated in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat & Rajasthan, and in Uttar Pradesh, especially in Mirzapur & Varanasi.
In UP, women offer prayers to Lord Shiva. Folk songs called kajari are sung. The lyrics of these songs express the pining of a woman for her beloved as she has been sent to her parents home to celebrate teej.
Kajari teej also involves praying to the moon and worshipping the Neem tree and the fast is broken by eating sattu.
In Bundi, Rajasthan, a fair is held to celebrate this festival. Goddess Parvati's idol adorned in a palanquin is taken out in a procession of elephants, camels, musicians and folk dancers.
Folk dances like Kalbeliya, Bhavai, Ghoomar are performed on this occasion.
Sattu, Malpua and Ghewar are prepared on this day.
Rajasthani Folk Dance - Bhawai Dance
Hartalika Teej & Gowri Habba
Hartalika Teej comes one month after Haryali Teej. It is celebrated on the third day of the waxing moon in the Indian month of Bhadon.
It is mostly celebrated a day before Ganesh Chaturti.
Goddess Parvati is also called Hartalika which is a combination of 2 words:
- harat meaning abduction
- aalika meaning female friend
Legend has it that Goddess Parvati's father wanted to marry her off against her wishes to Lord Vishnu. A friend of her then took her to a thick forest to prevent this marriage. Goddess Parvati then prayed to Lord Shiva and impressed him with her devotion. And eventually marrying her with her father's blessings.
Hartalika Teej is a major festival. A nirjala vrat (fasting without drinking even a drop of water) is kept by married women.
It is celebrated in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and some parts of Maharastra.
In Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, this festival is called Gowri Habba which is dedicated to Goddess Gowri, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped and whose blessings are sought. Gowri Habba is celebrated a day before Ganesh Chaturthi.
Hartalika Teej In Nepal
In Nepal Hartalika Teej is celebrated over 3 days and involves temple visits, fasting and sumptuous feasting. Folk music and dance make this traditional ritual more colorful.
The first day of Teej is called Dar Khana Din. Women dress up in their finest on this day, adorn themselves before assembling for the singing and dancing. Men host a grand food feast, called Dar, for them. The revelry goes on till midnight.
The second day is the fasting day. Some women abstain from both food & water while others take only fruit & liquids. Both married and unmarried women observe this fast.
After dressing up they visit the nearest Shiva temple to offer prayers and offerings of flowers, fruits, sweets etc. An oil lamp is lit and kept lit all night for peace & prosperity. The Pashupatinath temple receives the highest numbers of devotess on this occasion.
The third day is the Rishi Pancham festival. Women pay homage to the seven sages of the Hindu pantheon, offer prayers and bathe with the leaves, and red mud found on the roots, of the sacred datiwan bush. This is an act of purification and cleansing and the final Teej ritual.
Queue at Pashupatinath Temple
Women start shopping for sarees, jewellery, cosmetics days before the festival. Mehndi is also applied.
The fasting day on teej includes abstaining from eating food & drinking water. The night prior to the fast the women have a midnight food. To make the fast day easier to pass entertainment in the form of singing, dancing, riding swings, watching a movie is resorted to.
After getting dressed up in their finest and adorning themselves with make up & jewellery prayers are offered either at a common place or a temple. The holy katha (story) is recited and prayers are offered to the moon as well before breaking their fast. A oil lamp is lit and ensured that it remains lit all night.
As married women visit their parents home to celebrate Teej they receive a gift from their in laws to dress up for the occassion. This is called Shrinjhara. It is a gift pack that includes leheria sarees, colorful lac bangles, bindi, henna, sweets like ghewar, etc.
Newly weds are given Baya by their mothers. It is a gift pack of sweets, clothes, beauty products, jewellery etc.
A number of delicious dishes including sweets are prepared during Teej. Among them are:
Ghevar, kaju katli, besan laddoo, sattu, mango raita, khoa burfi, besan burfi, malpua, gujiya, vermicelli pudding.
Below are some recipes for you to try.
Seviyan Kheer | Sweet Vermicelli Kheer
Besan Ladoo Recipe
© 2017 Rajan Singh Jolly