Indian Festival – Teej
Teej is a time for celebration all over the colourful state of Rajasthan – women and young girls dress in green, swings or ‘jhoolas’ are hung from trees and decorated with flowers, the women sing and dance in gay abandon, heralding the advent of the rains gods.
An important festival in Rajasthan, Teej is also a day for rejoicing in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar. Teej celebrates the arrival of the monsoon- a cause for celebration, indeed- and is appropriately observed by the donning of green clothing which symbolises the verdure of rain-fed fields. Teej is traditionally celebrated by women, who go their parents’ home for the festival. New clothes, usually gifted by the woman’s parents, are worn, and women gather together to fast and to offer prayers to the goddess Parvati, whose devotion to her husband, Shiva, is considered exemplary. On Teej, an idol of the goddess, bedecked in red and gold clothing, is taken in a procession, accompanied by chanting and hymns.
But Teej is not just a religious festival; it also is a time to celebrate the coming of the rains- a time for renewal and rejuvenation. Teej ‘melas’ or fairs are fixtures at villages and towns, where thousands come to eat, drink, buy, sell, and generally enjoy themselves. The celebrations include music and folk dances, as well as the hanging of swings from trees, where groups of women and girls gather to swing.
Though Teej festival is celebrated all over Rajasthan, Kajli Teej of Bundi has its unique characteristics. The festival starts with the procession of goddess Teej in a decorated palanquin from the picturesque Naval Sagar and includes bedecked elephants, camels, performers, musicians and people in colorful attires. There are stunning performances by the artists of Hadoti region and cultural programmes are organized in the evening to entertain people streaming in from other places.
History of Teej
The festival of Teej symbolizes reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Teej teaches us the sacrifice of wife to win the heart of husband. It is said that Parvati reborn and went through stringent fasting for 108 long years to prove her dedication, devotion and unconditional love towards Lord Shiva. Finally, 108 years of long sacrifice paid off and Lord Shiva accepted her as his wife. Till today, the festival of Teej is celebrated to honor the devotion of GoddessParvati – popularly known as TEEJ MATA. On this day, both married and unmarried women seek her blessings for their happy marital life.