Teej celebrates the union of the divine couple Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In a year, there are three Teej festivals – Hariyali (July 30, 2014), Kajari (August 13) and Hartalika Teej (August 28, 2014). In Nepal Teej is observed for three starting from August 28 to August 30, 2014). According to Hindu mythology, on the third day after the new moon in the month of Shravan (July – August) Goddess Parvati united with Lord Shiva. The Teej festival is mainly celebrated in Rajasthan and in certain areas of
North India. In Rajasthan, the festival heralds the arrival of long waited monsoon season and therefore it is also known as ‘Sawan Festival’ and ‘Hariyali Teej.’ Hartalika Teej is an important ritual in Nepal and it is observed for three days and ends with Rishi Panchami.
Teej is mainly celebrated by the women and they pray for a happy and married life. Unmarried women pray for a good husband. Goddess Parvati and Shiva are worshipped during Teej festival. In some places, Lord Krishna and Radha are worshipped.
Hariyali Teej: Women worship the moon by offering milk, curd and flowers on this day. Some women undertake a fast for the wellbeing of the family. Married women return to their parent’s home and receive Teej gifts. Women whose marriage date has been fixed receive gifts from groom’s parents. Songs celebrating the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are sung on this day. Special swings are made for Teej and women swing on them.
In Rajasthan, the idol of Goddess Parvati is taken out in a colorful procession. Devotees gather in large number at the Bankebihari temple in Vrindavan and worship Lord Krishna and Radha.
Another important ritual is the applying of henna on the Teej day. Many women make it a point to dress richly and neatly on this day – indicating to Goddess Parvati that they want to be like this on all days.
Fairs are organized in many important towns in
North India and the most famous being the one in Jaipur.
Kajari Teej: Women pray to Lord Krishna and perform poojas to the neem tree. The festival is celebrated in rural areas in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Women gather and sing songs on this day.
Hartalika Teej: Women observe a three day fast and on the second day some women even avoid water. The day is popularly known as Hartalika Teej Vrat.
Married woman pray fast for a happy married life and unmarried women to get a husband like Lord Shiva. Hartalika Teej is observed in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Green clothes are worn by women for luck during Hartalika Teej. After the fast, women are treated to a special feast.