Teej festival Nepal

Posted on Sep 6, 2013 by NepalTravel under Culture and Festival

Tags: Teej, Festival, Nepal

Nepal is culturally rich country. Festivals, jatras and many other rituals are part of Nepalese culture. Teej, also called as haritalika teej, celebrated by hindu women across the world is one of the important festival of hindu community.  Women celebrate teej for long life and wellness of their husband and family. Literally, teej is small red insect that comes out of soil during the rainy season and it is believed that the festival ‘teej’ is also named after the same red insect and also has special significance with red color. Teej is celebrated on the third day of bhadra sukla paksha (According to Nepali lunar calendar). Teej has very special Holy attachment. According to hindu belief goddess parbati fasted and prayed to have lord shiva as her husband and seeing her full devotion lord shiva accepted her as his wife. Thus, this belief is known to be the birth of festival teej, which is celebrated with love and excitement. Lord shiva and goddess parbati is heartly worshipped with full devotion in this festival. Married women fast and pray for long life, good health and wealth of their spouse while unmarried girls fast, hoping to get good, cultured and handsome husband in future. Teej is a cultural celebration which combines rigid fasting as well as various joyful celebrations. Normally, teej is celebrated for three days.
 Festival of teej starts with practice of ‘eating darr' (Darr refers to any kind of delicious food).  The eve (first day of teej) is called darr khane din when women fasting for teej have many delicious foods as they have to fast on the day of teej without food and even water. On this day women (relatives and friends) gather together in their finest attire with their lovely ornaments, prepare different kinds of delicious foods, dance, sing, and have fun of their own kind. Usually the celebration of darr goes till midnight.
The next, the day of teej starts with great joy. Women having fast purify themselves by taking bath and get nicely dressed (usually with all red clothes), with all their ornaments making themselves graceful they start celebrating teej festival. Groups of women dancing and singing can be seen in the streets and in various lord shiva's temples. Singing and dancing is also said to be one of the way to forget all the difficulties they have in their life. They fast for whole day even without having a drop of water (Some drink juice and eat fruits exceptionally). 
The main puja of teej starts with offering various kinds of flowers, fruits and other offerings to god shiva and parbati visiting nearby temples.  The Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu gets the maximum number of devotees on this day.  One of the important part of ‘teej’ is the oil lamp which should be alight all night. Women lit traditional oil lamp called ‘diyo’ in the name of their husband believing that it will give their husband a prosperous and long life. Some organize nice pujas inviting their priest in their home while other do visiting different temples.  Teej puja comes to an end next morning when women perform ‘godaan’. (Godaan refers to a cultural practice of performing a certain puja in which it is believed that hundreds of cows are being religiously gifted). With the completion of godaan, women offer tika and flower to their husband and receive blessings from them. And drink water, milk or eat fruits. The Day after teej is known as ‘ganesh chaturthi’. Lord ganesha (son of lord Shiva and Parbati) is worshipped on this day. Hundreds of devotees both male and female visit Ganesh temple all over the nation.
The last day of teej festival is known as ‘Rishi panchami’. On this day, women start their puja by having bath at Religious River with red mud and datiwan (A kind of bush) leaves which is believed to be holy thing. This act of purification is done after which women are considered to be forgiven from all their sins.  Women pay homage to various deities performing a certain ritual and puja. On this day women eat pure foods made up of pure ghee. ‘Karkalo’ (a vegetable with long and big leaves) is the main food for this day.
This is how teej festival is celebrated with lots of joy and enthusiasm. Usually, Married women visit their maternal home during this festival as women residing in rural Nepal get rare opportunity to visit their parents and siblings. Despite, rigid fasting teej brings smiles on faces of women as they feel blessed fasting for long life of their men and wellness of their family. So, teej is one the important and rich festival of Nepal which is celebrated by women with great joy.

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