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Hariyali Teej - Hindu** (Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date.)

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Mon, 13/08/2018 (All day)

Hariyali Teej - Hindu** (Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date.)

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.

The first is the Hariyali Teej, also known as Chhoti Teej or Shravana Teej, which falls on Shukla Paksha Tritiya--the third day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu monsoon month of Shravana. This is followed by Kajari Teej  (Badi Teej), which comes after 15 days of Hariyali Teej. The third type of Teej, Haritalika Teej, comes one month after Hariyali Teej, which is observed during Shukla Paksha Tritiya, or the third day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. (Please note that Akha Teej does not belong to this category of festivals, as it is another name for Akshaya Tritiya or Gangaur Tritiya.)

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.

Teej symbolizes the reunion of Shiva and his wife Parvati. It exemplifies the sacrifice of a wife to win the mind and heart of the husband. According to myths, Parvati carried out a rigorous fast for 108 years to prove her love and devotion for Shiva before he accepted her as his wife. Some scriptures say that she was born 107 times before she was reborn as Parvati, and on her 108th birth, she was granted the reward of being he wife of Shiva due to her long penance and perseverance over many births.

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.

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