The Hindu festival of Teej is marked by fasting of women who pray to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, seeking their blessings for marital bliss. It is a series of festivals that occur during the Hindu month of Shravana (Sawan) and Bhadrapada (Bhado), that corresponds to the Indian monsoon season of July-August-September.
The Three Types of Teej
There are three types of Teej festivals celebrated during the monsoon months.
History and Origin of Teej
It is believed that the name of this festival comes from a small red insect called ‘Teej’ that emerges from the earth during the monsoon season. Hindu mythology has it that on this day, Parvati came to the Shiva’s abode, marking the union of the husband and wife.
Hence, Teej is celebrated to honor the devotion of Parvati, who is also known as ‘Teej Mata,’ by those who observe this auspicious day when women seek her blessings for a happy married life and a good husband.
Teej–A Regional Monsoon Festival
Teej is not a pan-Indian festival. It is mainly celebrated in Nepal and the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab in various forms.
In northern and western India, Teej celebrates the arrival of monsoon following the hot months of summer. It has a broader significance in the western Indian arid state of Rajasthan, as observation of the festival there seeks to provide relief from the scorching heat of summer.
Rajasthan Tourism organizes a Teej fair called ‘Sawan Mela’ or ‘Monsoon Festival’ every year to showcase the customs and traditions of the state during this time. It is also celebrated in Hindu Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, where Teej is a major festival.
At the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, women circumambulate the Shiva Linga and perform a special Puja of Shiva and Parvati.
Celebrations of Teej
While ritual fasting is central to Teej, the festival is marked by colorful celebrations, especially by the womenfolk, who enjoy swing rides, song, and dance.
Swings are often hung from trees or placed in the courtyard of homes and decked with flowers. Young girls and married women apply Mehendi or henna tattoos on this auspicious occasion. Women wear beautiful saris and adorn themselves with jewelry, and visit temples to offer their special prayers to goddess Parvati. A special sweet called ‘ghewar’ is prepared and distributed as Prasad, or divine offering.
Significance of Teej
The importance of Teej is mainly two-fold: First, as a festival for women, Teej celebrates the victory of a wife’s love and devotion towards her husband–an important tradition in Hinduism–symbolized by the union of Shiva and Parvati.
Second, Teej ushers in the advent of the monsoons–the season of rains that brings a reason to celebrate as people can take a break from the sweltering heat and enjoy the swing of the monsoon–“Sawan ke jhooley.” In addition, it’s an occasion for married women to visit their parents and return with gifts for their in-laws and spouse.
Teej, therefore, provides an opportunity to renew family bonds.
Article Source : https://www.thoughtco.com/