‘Teej’ is the biggest festival of Nepalese Hindu women. The festival of dance, music and celebration has many other interesting facts. Let’s find out some of them here.
1 Haritalika Teej
There are three types of ‘Teej’. The one celebrated in Nepal is Haritalika Teej, two other types ‘Hariyali Teej’ and ‘ Kajari Teej’ are mainly observed mainly in Northern and Western part of India. A three-day women only festival ‘Haritalika Teej’ falls in late August/early September.
2 Dedicated to Goddess Parvati
According to Hindu mythology ‘Teej’ festival is primarily dedicated to Goddess Parvati and her devotion and dedication towards her husband Lord Shiva. ‘Teej’ also welcome monsoon season.
3 Dar Khane Din – Day One
First day of ‘Teej’ is ‘Dar Khane Din’. On this day; women, married and unmarried dressed in the most beautiful colorful dress and decorated with ‘Sorha Sringar’ sing and dance on traditional ‘Teej’ songs day and night. The day is dedicated to women so it’s the men who invite their sisters for the feast. Food has to be delicious yet very nutritious because, 24 hours fasting starts the following day.
4 Fasting Day- Brata Basne Din, Day Two
On this day women observe a fast and pray Lord Shiva for the long, healthy and prosperous life of their husbands and their families. The unmarried women also observe this day with the hope that they will get to marry good husbands. Women clad in beautiful red saris with shining potes/chhadke tilhari (glass beads), singing and dancing is the sight almost everywhere in Nepal. From early dawn, women queue up in in Pashupatinath temple to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.
5 Day Three – Rishi Panchami
The last day of the festival is a day of cleansing called the Rishi Panchami’. This is the day to wash off all impurities to mark the end of ‘Teej’. Women take baths in the nearest river, using the leaves and roots of the datiwan bush to help with the cleansing and to brush the skin. After the ritual bath, women are considered purified of all sins and they can return to their families cleansed.
6 Reunion With Old Friends
This festival is also a wonderful opportunity to reunite with old friends since married women come to their parents home to celebrate ‘Teej’ festival, as this popular ‘Teej’ song says ..
‘Naudanda katera gayeki cheli
Bhagyale bhet kaha bhayechhau feri
Teejako rahar aayo barilai’
Reference and direct source: wikipedia, visitnepal.com, USA today, hinduism.about.com