Teej is one of the religious festivals of Hindu people. Especially it is celebrated by the women only. But I have found few male member also in Nepal celebrating it keeping fasting. Teej is known as Haritalika Teej also in the context of Nepal and India.
All Hindu women living across the world celebrate Teej festivals. To celebrate Teej festival women wear red sari. Red dress is the typical costume of Teej festival. Celebrating Teej festivals means keeping fasting on the very day of Teej day. Generally girls and women keep fasting with two reasons first, unmarried girls keep fasting (barta) wishing to get husband as like lord Shiva and second, married women keep fasting for the healthy and long life of their husband.
Teej is being celebrated on third day of Bhadra Sukla Pakshya (Tritiya), according to trhe Nepali calendar. It is usually falls in late August or early September months.
When does Teej Festival fall in 2020/ 2077 BS?
This year we all Hindu people of the world are going to observe Teej festival in Bhadra 5 Friday (Sukrabar) (August 21, 2020). We all are eager to celebrate Teej more differently this year because of Corona Virus, Covid-19. Hope you all maintain social distance and be safe and be happy. Generally Teej is a three day long celebration by girls and women of Hindu community or Hindu beliefs.
In Satya Yug (truth era) when there were activities of God and Goddesses, everything was neat and clear. Whatever people do, they used to do according to the real moral and spiritual values. All were guided by truth and clear behavior. During the same time according to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva (Mahadev) was the power full god i.e. God of Gods and Goddesses of the whole universe. In the meantime there was Goddess Parvati was also more power full and kind too. So one Parvati had a desire to have Lord Shiva (Mahadev) as her husband. So, she decided to keep fasting to get Lord Shiva (Mahadev) as her husband. For that she didn`t take a drop of water also. So it is called kathor barta also. Finally, Lord Shiva (Mahadev) pleased with the activities of Goddess Parvati and Parvati god Lord Shiva (Mahadev) as her husband. After that time all the unmarried girls and married women started to keep fasting (barta of haritalika Teej) to the till date.
Ways of celebrating Teej festival varies from time to time. In the past there was pure and unique tradition of celebrating Teej. However, nowadays people are started to celebrate in a modern way. Some few people do not believe mythology of certain festivals or some other events too.
Nowadays, women have started to take Dar from a month ago of real Teej day or Dar day. They go one another`s house to eat delicious food in the name of Dar, dance, sing and pass days.
The First Day
But out of three main day of Teej celebration, first day is called Dar Khane Din. On this day all the women married and unmarried gather together with their family members and prepare Dar (delicious food like Khir (rice pudding)). After Dar they start singing and dancing with folk songs related with the happiness and sorrow of women. They keep dancing and eating Day till mid night, after mid night, 24 hours fasting starts.
Generally married marred women go to their Maita, Mother`s house to take Dar before few days of Teej. For this they all wait the invitation from mother and brothers. Without invitation they do not go. Usually in Hindu community there is a trend to send brother to the sisters house (those who are married) as an invitation and he brings sister to his house where mother and other family members live. She waits always to see his brother on the way when he comes to take me to my mother`s house. When brother comes she becomes too much happy than ever but if his brother would not come to take she becomes too sad and starts weeping and crying.
What is Dar?
Dar isn`t other than delicious food items prepared by mothers before the night of Teej fasting. It is the preparation of heavy food which supports to stay longer period without food and drinking a drop of water. So in Nepali culture it is called darho khana (heavy food). Whatever the name is given, it is the process of engaging for huge feast that evening or near mid night with, khir, mithai, sel, puri and some communities take non-veg items like meats and eggs and so on.
The Second Day or Fasting Day
It is the main day for all the Hindu Women who observe Teej festival or keep Fasting. The take bath early in the morning and starts fasting. It means it is the fasting day. Most of the devotees of Kathmandu Valley go to the Pashupati Temple to worship Lord Shiva (Shiva linga). They offer fruits, coins and sweets to the temple. Other women of other parts of the world go to the Shiva Temple and observe worshipping. Women offers flowers, coins, sweets and so on to please both Parvati and Shiva to grant them blessing upon their husband family members.
Some women become more rigid and don`t drink a drop of water but some of the women take liquid items like milk, bananas, fruits and juice.
The most part of Fasting is gone in the evening by observing Pooja (religious ceremony) burning the oil lamp (108 sute diyo) which should be burning whole night.
All the women wear red saries. Married women wear Chhadke Tilahari, Red pote and nathiya too. These things are regarded as the most important
This is the day after the fasting is over. Women get up early in the morning and take bath and worship once again to the Parvati and Shiva. Generally married women take water of their husband (khutta dhunu ra tehipani khanu), it means drink the water which they used to wash their husband`s leg. Then only they take solid food item after 24 hours which is prepared by holy ghee.
On the very fasting day of Teej women do not eat or drink water. They wear red sari, chhadke tilahari, pote and so on. All of tehm gather in a public place like, public ground, park, and school or in the chowk of some communities. Sometimes they celebrate on their own home too.
When they gather in a public place, they start to sing folk songs which express their sorrow, happiness and ups and downs while passing times with family members, especially mother-in-law. They sing singing by making circle. They catch hands and move in a circle. One or elder one among them sings and other follow her. In this way they use sometimes buffer to make music to dance and take amusement.
Government has granted holiday for women only on this day. So that they can freely involve in visiting different parks and take part in singing and dancing. When they take part in singing and dancing they are passing day time without knowing that I am hungry. They pass whole day in this way.
Rishi Panchami (what is Rishi Panchami)
The fourth day of Teej festival is generally known as Rishi Panchami. After the completion of the previous day`s Pooja women ald girls pay homage to various gods and goddesses and they take bath with red mud and they take bath with datiun tree. On this day some women do Pooja too after fasting.
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