Everything You Need To Know About Teej Nepali Festival

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Teej (Nepaliतीज , ISO 15919Tīja) is the generic name for a number of Hindu festivals that are celebrated by women. Haryali Teej and Hartalika Teej welcome the monsoon season and are celebrated primarily by girls and women, with songs, dancing and prayer rituals. The monsoon festivals of Teej are primarily dedicated to Parvati and her union with Shiva.[1] Women often fast in celebration of Teej. Hartalika Teej is celebrated in all parts of Nepal and most of the parts of North India (Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Rajasthan). Teej festivals are traditionally observed by women to celebrate the monsoons during the months of Shravan and Bhadrapada of Hindu calendar. Women often pray to Parvati and Shiva during Teej.

Teej refers to the third day that falls every month after the new moon (amavasya), and the third day after the full moon night of every lunar month.[3] According to Kumar (1988), Kajari Teej and Hartalika Teej fall in Bhadrapada.[4]

Teej refers to the monsoon festivals, observed particularly in western and northern states of India and Nepal. The festivals celebrate the bounty of nature, arrival of clouds and rain, greenery and birds with social activity, rituals and customs.[5] 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 orange clothes, sharing festive foods,[5] and playing under trees on swings on Haryali Teej.[6] The monsoon festival in Rajasthan is dedicated to Parvati.[5]

Hartalika Teej

Hartalika is a combination of the Sanskrit words harit and aalika which means “abduction” and “female friend” respectively. According to the legend of Hartalika Teej, Parvati, incarnated as Shailaputri[25][26]

On the third day of the bright half of Bhadrapud, Parvati made a shiva lingam out of sand and silt of Ganga and prayed. Shiva was so impressed that he gave his word to marry Parvati. Eventually, Parvati was united with Shiva and was married to him with her father’s blessing. Since then, the day is referred to as Hartalika Teej as Parvati’s female (aalika) friend had to abduct (harit) her in order for the goddess to achieve her goal of marrying Shiva.[citation needed]

Accordingly, Hartalika Teej is seen as a major festival and is celebrated on the third day of the bright half of the Indian/North Nepali Lunar month of Bhadrapud. The festival women feasting during the evening of Hartalika Teej, praying to Parvati and Shiva, remembering their wedding and staying up all night listening to prayers.[27][additional citation(s) needed] The fast (also called nishivasar nirjala vrat) commences during the evening of Hartalika Teej and is broken the next day after a full day’s observance which involves women not even drinking water.[citation needed] The focus is on praying to Parvati[28][page needed] whom Shiva desired should be worshipped under the name Hartalika.[citation needed] [29] The main areas of celebration are RajasthanUttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand and Maharashtra. In Rajasthan, an idol of Parvati is taken out in procession in the streets accompanied by singing, and music. Hartalika Teej has also spread to parts of Madhya PradeshChhattisgarh .[citation needed]

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