A brief about Teej
Teej is the fasting festival for women akin to karva chauth. Her prayings are offered to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in order to seek their blessings for marital bliss. Festival spans over a period of three days and it occurs on the third day of 'Shukla Paksha' which is the bright fortnight of the moon according to the Hindu calendar and it is the month of Shravana or Sawan, which falls during the Indian monsoon season, i.e. July - August. Monsoon season that arrives in India brings many insects along with it and it is believed that Teej is the name of some tiny red insect only and festival’s name is kept after that. The insect emerges from the earth during the monsoon season.
The story behind Teej
According to Hindu mythology, on this day Parvati ji came to Lord Shiva’s abode that marks the union of husband and wife. Teej symbolizes the reunion of God Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvati. The teej festival sets an example for women to know the power of sacrifice, what all benefits sacrifice can bring. Elaborately, one sacrifice could bring thousands of benefits. Teej says that a sacrifice of wife could win the mind and heart of husband. In order get the acceptance of being the wife of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati kept one hundred eight fasts to prove her love, affection, dedication and care that she used to do for Lord Shiva. Some scriptures say that Goddess Parvati was born one hundred and seven times before she was reborn as Parvati, and when she was born the next time that is, one hundred and eighth time she was granted the boon to be the wife of Shiva as a fruit to her prayers, fasts, patience and long perseverance to get her wish accomplished. Hence, Teej is celebrated to honor the devotion and dedication 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 like Shiva.
How Teej is Celebrated
The occasion is celebrated all over India but of course, in different ways in different parts of India. Northern and Eastern part of India that includes Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana and last but not the least, our own favourite Punjab observe this fast with great enthusiasm and zeal. It is celebrated after the arrival of monsoon season that falls after the hot season called summer. It has a greater significance in Rajasthan, the hotter place. As a matter of fact, Teej fair is organized called “Monsoon festival” every year that exhibits the rituals, culture and tradition of “Marho Rajasthan”.
Not only in India, but neighbouring countries also celebrate this festival religiously. Nepal is one of them. At the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, women circumambulate the Shiva Linga and perform a special Puja of Shiva and Parvati. Apart from observing fast, dance, music, singing, colours, sumptuous special food, swing rides and mehndi all are integral part of the occasion. Young girls and married women apply mehndi not only on their hands, but on arms too. On this day, women wear new clothes that include beautiful sarees, suits and lehngas. They visit temple to offer their special prayers to the Goddess to spend their rest of the married life happily. That is why this occasion is really significant for newly married woman.