Teej is traditionally dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, remembering her union with Lord Shiva. It is a three-day-long celebration that combines splendid feasts as well as rigid fasting.
Teej is celebrated on 3rd day of Bhadra Sukala Paksha (according to Nepali lunar calendar). It generally falls in late August or early September.
Teej is a festival celebrated by Nepali women, for the long life of her husband and long and firm relationship between them until the death this life and all the lives to come. Every ritual has its own significance and so ladies perform all Teej customs with extreme devotion. Women start preparing for Teej well in advance and go out shopping to bring all the items used in performing Teej rituals.
Teej is observed for marital happiness, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul. Teej is the most famous festival among Nepali women.
How it is celebrated
The festivals for women, include dancing, singing, getting together with friends and telling stories, dressing up with henna-coloured hands and feet, wearing red, green or yellow clothes, sharing festive foods, etc.The festivals are dedicated, in many parts of India and Nepal, to Parvati.They first offer worship to Lord Shiva and spend the rest of the day singing and dancing in the temple premises.
The folk music and dances add more flavor to traditional values of Teej. It is fascinating to see women, in “Red” dancing and singing on the street, going to temple in holy and fasting mood. Teej is also called Hari Talika Teej. This festival is celebrated by Nepali Hindu women all across the world.
First Day-Dar Khane Din
The eve is called Dar Khane Din. On this day all the family members especially the women, both married and unmarried gather at one place, in their finest outfits of red (called Saubhagya) and start dancing and singing devotional songs mixed with Nepali folk and Dohori songs. This evening the grand feast takes place. The grand feast is called “Dar”. The fun often goes on till midnight, after midnight the 24-hour fasting starts.
The second day
Fasting day is the second day of Teej. Women take fasting on the second day.
Some women take it very rigid, they even live without a piece of food and drops of water while some others take liquid and fruit.They visite Lord Shiva’s temple singing and dancing all the way.Most of devotees in Kathmandu go to Pashupatinath Temple.
After the completion of the previous day’s pooja, women pay homage to various deities and bathe with red mud found on the roots of the sacred Datiwan bush, along with its leaves. This act of purification is the final ritual of Teej, after which women are considered forgiven from all their sins. The recent years have witnessed an adjustment in the rituals, especially regarding the strictness, but its spirit remains the same.