Teej - A Unique Himalayan Festival

Principles of marriage are prevalent in every culture and religion.  However, in Nepalese  culture  the earnest dedication of a wife toward her husband is manifested in a beautiful festival of “Teej”. Teej arrives every year either at the end of August or first week of September which is noted as “Bhadra Sukla Paksha”, a special day according to Nepalese lunar calendar.

Teej is usually observed by married women pray for marital bliss and general well being of their husbands by humbling themselves in God’s presence by fasting and praying for the husbands. The religious connotations of this special prayer for husband goes back to the mythical story of Goddess Parvati reuniting with her husband Shiva after a long time of separation.

This three day celebration is observed with color and festivity in Nepal. On the first day women gather together for “Dar Khana Din”, a day dedicated to feasting and dancing to devotional songs before starting a 24- hour fast for the wellbeing of their husbands. Red is the dominant color of the attires worn on this day.  Women gather together in a designated venue and attend this festival in their beautiful red attires and adorn themselves with beautiful jewelry and look like brides. Delicious food, desserts and fruits are served for all the attendees on this special day. This special day is spent dancing, singing and celebrating the advent of “Teej”.

The second day is the day of fasting when women sacrifice their desire for any appetite for food and water by doing a special “puja”, worship for marital bliss and well being of their husbands. Clad in red attires women head to temples where flowers, fruits are offered to Shiva and Parvati and lamps are oil lamps are lit along with prayers for a blissful married life.

The final day of Teej is a day when women wake up early morning and do the customary “puja” and offer offerings and food to seven saints in a temple. This is an act of purifying the soul and body which concludes the entire festival.

Although it may seem like any ordinary cultural activity, Teej has a very special meaning for Nepalese women who come together as a community of sisters not only honor their marriages, but they also find this time refreshing to indulge in some recreation and festivity.



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