Teej festival

Teej or Haritallka Teej is a traditional Hindu festival honouring the reunion of the Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati after 100 years of penance. It is interesting to mention that teej is actually a small red insect that appears during rains in the monsoon season. In some areas the Teej is called the Sawan festival. According to Hindu calendar this festival is held on the 3rd day of the Shukla Paksha in Shaaravan or Saawan. In western calendar it is in August or early September. On this day women visit temples and pray for the long and prosperous life of their husbands.

Teej festival is organized all over India. It is especially impressive in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Local women wear their best clothes and jewellery. They perform traditional dance. Shops offer large quantities of sweets.

Teej festival in Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal
Teej festival in Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal

The festival is popular in Nepal too. The biggest of Nepalese Teej festival is the one where women visit the Pashupatinath Temple. This temple from 400 AD is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The temple is known as “The Temple of Living Beings”. During festival women wear red saris which are traditionally worn at weddings. Married women fast for 24 hours. They do not drink water or eat fruit. They also bath in the holy water of the Bagmati river.