Everything you wanted to know about Teej festival in India
Everything You Wanted to Know about Teej Festival in India
India has always been known for its incredible traditions, different cultures, and vast diversities. A majority of traditions and festivals that we take part in actively have lasted for centuries and continue to be celebrated even now. Teej is one such festival that is grandly celebrated across most parts of Northern India. What is special about this festival is that it is celebrated by women, both married and unmarried who seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Primarily a monsoon festival, Teej is celebrated by married women by observing a fast to seek wellness and the long life of their husbands. Unmarried women, on the other hand, take part in this festival by observing a fast to get a husband who has similar qualities to Lord Shiva. ‘Teej’ means ‘third’ and is observed as the third day after the new moon or full moon night. Teej festival is celebrated across the Northern parts of India after the advent of monsoons on the third day after the new moon or full moon night. Teej festivals are celebrated in three different forms in a year– Hariyali Teej, Kajari Teej, and Hartalika Teej. Some of the popular sweets that are prepared and consumed during these festivals include, Ghewar, Aloo halwa, Sabudana kheer, and Coconut laddoos.
1. Hariyali Teej – When is it celebrated? What are the various rituals associated with this festival?
This festival is celebrated in Shravana month and falls on Shukla Paksha Tritiya. Usually, Hariyali Teej is celebrated a couple of days before Nag Panchami. On this day, women in the Northern regions of India wear green bangles and dresses and celebrate the festival by dancing and singing traditional songs. This festival signifies greenery. The festival also symbolizes the contentment and richness of a happy married life. The moon is worshipped during this period. Also known as Shravana Teej and Chhoti Teej, the Hariyali Teej 2021 will fall on Wednesday, August 11. The Tritiya tithi is expected to begin and end at 18:05 and 16:53 respectively on August 10 and August 11.
Rituals of Hariyali Teej
Shringara items like bangles, traditional dresses, sweets, sindoor, henna, etc are provided to married women on the day of Hariyali Teej from their in-laws. Wearing green coloured sarees and lehengas are symbolic of marriage and married women follow it religiously. Also, on this day married women wear all 16 adornments as it is believed they can keep their husbands protected from all kinds of evils. Newly wedded women go to their parent’s house for celebrating Hariyali Teej. Here, they get to savour all kinds of delicious foods in the company of all.
One of the most important traditions of Hariyali Teej is to apply henna on the hands and feet. Celebrating this Teej festival is considered incomplete without following this ritual. As per the belief hold in following this ritual, the colour of Mehendi indicates the love showered by husbands to their wives. Darker the henna colour, the more love woman is expected to receive from her husband.
In several places across Northern India, swings are hung on the branches of Vat Vriksha or Banyan tree. Married women spend their day swinging along with other women. In the company of so many women, they sing and dance to different tunes. Worshipping the Banyan tree on this day is considered auspicious. ‘Nirjala Vrat’ is observed strictly by women during Hariyali Teej. During this time they are not allowed to consume even water the whole day. It is only after worshipping the moon the fast is broken.
2. Kajari Teej – When is it celebrated in 2021? What are the various rituals followed during this festival?
This festival falls five days before Krishna Janmastami and three days before Raksha Bandhan. During Kajari Teej, the sacred puja of neem is performed through various traditions and rituals. Women participate in this festival by singing various songs dedicated to Lord Krishna. Also called Badi Teej, this festival will fall on August 25, this year. The Tritiya tithi will commence at 16:04 on Aug 24 and end at 16:18 the next day.
Rituals of Kajari Teej
On the day of Kajari Teej, married women observe fast to ensure the long life of their husbands. Even unmarried women observe fast so that they are blessed with a good partner. As per the traditional rituals, dishes are prepared using different materials like barley, wheat, rice and gram mixture. The fast will end once the observer sees the moon. Another ritual that is followed by women during Kajari Teej is feeding cows with chapattis made of wheat flour, ghee, and jaggery. During Kajari Teej, women decorate their houses using swings. They also dance and sing folk songs.
3. Hartalika Teej – Why is it celebrated? What are different rituals surrounding this festival?
Hartalika Teej is celebrated in the Bhadrapada month during Shukla Paksha Tritiya. The festival typically falls one month after the commencement of Hariyali Teej. On the day of Hartalika Teej, women undergo fasting while praying to Goddess Parvati for the conjugal and long life of their partners. In 2021, Hartalika Teej will be celebrated on September 9. The Tritiya tithi will commence at 02:33 and will end at 00:18 the next day.
Like most other festivals in India that are celebrated with lots of gusto, Teej helps bring people together and spread love and happiness everywhere. Teej festivities are celebrated by women folk in most parts of North India, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand.
Rituals of Hartalika Teej
On the occasion of Hartalika Teej, women wear new clothes and jewels. This is followed by performing puja in the temples. Also, to seek the blessings of Goddess Parvati, many women observe Nirjala Vrat. As a part of the ritual, on this day, women decorate their homes, in addition to adorning the place with idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Beautiful Teej songs are sung by women, henna is worn on hands. Also, swings are tied to the branches of the trees and women folk take turns to swing on them.
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