Teej- Hariyali Teej Festival

Hariyali Teej 2016 Date

Friday 5 August 2016

Teej (तीज) is a monsoon festival celebrated with great spirit by the married women and teenage girls in the Northern Indian states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar and the Central Indian State of Madyha Pradesh. Nepali Teej Festival is also one of the forms of this very important Hindu festival meant to worship Goddess Parvati for marital bliss. Teej literally means ‘third day,’ and is celebrated on the third day of Shukla Paksha (brighter half of month after which comes full moon day) in the month of Shravan coinciding with the monsoon season. According to the Gregorian calender, Teej is celebrated in July-August. In fact, there are three Teej festivals of same character that are celebrated within a period of two months of Shravan and Bhadrapada of Hindu calender. These are Hariyali Teej; Kajari or Kajli Teej; and Hartalika Teej.

Teej Festival 2016 Dates

The Hariyali Teej (हरियाली तीज) festival this year will be celebrated on 5 August 2016. As is know, there are three Teej festivals of which Hariyali Teej is celebrated first after which falls Kajli teej and the last one is the Haritalika Teej. The dates of all the three Teej festivals in the year 2016 are as follows:

Hariyali Teej – 5 August 2016

Kajjli Teej– 21 August 2016

Haritalika Teej– 4 September 2016

Teej Festival Legend of Goddess Parvati

Goddess ParvatiGoddess Parvati who is also referred to as ‘Teej Mata’ is worshipped by girls and married women on the day of Teej and a fast is observed by them to seek the blessings of the Goddess. According to the Teej legend, Goddess Parvati got reunited with her consort Lord Shiva on the pious day of Teej. It is said that Parvati observed rigorous fasting and did ‘tapasya’ (paid penance) for 100 years to be reunited with Lord Shiva. She had to take 108 births to be accepted by Lord Shiva as his wife.  Thus, Teej festival has become an important festival for married women who commemorate the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is believed that the invocation of Parvati’s blessing during the Teej festival ensures marital bliss in one’s life.

Teej Festival Rituals

As Teej is the festival of women for marital bliss in their lives, the rituals of Teej festival too are related to this concept. The parents of married women send gifts for their daughters and her in-laws which is known as ‘Sindhara’ (सिंधारा) giving Teej another name, Sindhara Teej. These gifts include clothes, sweets and such things for daughter as bangles, henna, bindi, and other cosmetics. If it is the first Teej after a girl’s marriage, she visits her parental home and celebrates the festival there only and goes to her husband’s house only after Raksha Bandhan to celebrate Badi Teej there. If a girl has been engaged, gifts for her come from the home of her future husband. The girls observe fast to get a husband like Lord Shiva and married women fast with the wish of long life of their husbands and marital bliss in their life.

Teej Festival Celebrations

Shravani Teej (श्रावणी तीज)- as it is called because of being celebrated in the Shravan month of rain- is one of the most awaited festivals for women who get ready on this day in their best clothings, wear many ornaments, decorate their palms and feet with ‘mehndi’ or henna, and do all the make up thought apt for a married woman. All married women and girls observe fast to please Goddess Parvati and seek her blessings for happy married life. Women of all ages get in full spirit this day and sing the Teej songs in chorus and dance with joy. As this is the season of rain and everywhere there is greenery, the festival is also known as ‘Hariyali Teej’ or the ‘Green Teej.’ Swings (झूले) on the branches of trees with girls and women taking turns is a common sight on the day of Teej and also during the whole monsoon season.

Teej festival

Some special sweets are made not only in homes but are also available in almost all sweet shops these days. These include ‘Ghewar’ (घेवर) and ‘Pheni’ (फीणी) as the most relished sweets on Teej.  There are certain peculiar ways of celebrating Teej in some regions like in Jaipur, Chandigarh of Punjab, Nepal and so on.

Teej Festival- Jaipur

Along with the Teej fasts, merry making, swings and colorful clothes in view, Jaipur also witnesses a grand royal procession called ‘Teej ki Sawari’ (तीज की सवारी) or ‘Teej Mata ki Sawari’ (procession of Teej Goddess). Teej procession is not only famous among the Indian tourists but also international tourists from various countries who come to Rajasthan to see the royal Teej procession of Jaipur. In this very famous Jaipur Teej procession, a highly decorated idol of Goddess Parvati is kept on a palanquin and carried through the old walled city of Jaipur.

Teej Festival Jaipur

A huge number of devotees throng the Teej procession which is held for two consecutive days. Men and women in traditional Rajasthani dresses sing and dance going along the procession. There are antique gilt palanquins, cannons pulled by bullock carts, chariots, elephants, camels, and bands that make the Jaipur Teej procession all the more spectacular. People enjoy the famous ‘Ghevar’ sweet on Teej while participating in the procession.

Teej Festival- Punjab

Teej Festival PunjabTeej in Punjab is also a very important festival for women there. They celebrate Teej with joy and verve, swing on decorated swings known as ‘peeng’ (पींग) , embellish their hands and feet with intricate mehndi designs and take part in various competitions of rangoli, mehndi, dance, singing, painting etc. organized by state authorities, schools, colleges and other organizations. The colleges in Punjab even organize Teej beauty contests and crown the winners with such titles as ‘Miss Teej,’ ‘Teej Queen,’ and ‘Baby Teej’ etc. Teej fairs known as ‘Teelan’ are held having colorful stalls selling traditional items like bangles, juttis (traditional shoes), dresses, earrings and much more. All the female members of a house get gifts and dresses from elders. Special Punjabi dishes are prepared at homes that include Kheer Puri, Gulgale, Kadah and Pakoras. In Chandigarh, the administration takes initiative for Teej celebration in the famous Rock garden where children present plays and other cultural programs.

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