Teej Festival of Rajasthan is one of the most popular festivals of India. Teej festival of Rajasthan is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by the women in India. Since Teej fall at the outbreak of the monsoons, it is also popularly known as the 'Sawan Festival' of Rajasthan. Teej is usually celebrated in the month of July-August. Festival of Teej is dedicated to the divine couple - Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Though Teej is celebrated at various places in India and abroad, major Teej celebrations take place in the highly cultural city of Jaipur. Here day-long processions and celebrations create a vivid atmosphere.
Teej Festival Celebrations of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India
Teej festival of Rajasthan is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of Rajasthan in India. Teej festival of Rajasthan is celebrated with immense fun and fanfare in the capital city of Jaipur of Rajasthan. On this day, women and young girls wear their best clothes and adorn themselves with fine jewelry. They gather at a nearby temple or a common place and offers prayers to Goddess Parvati for well-being of their husband. Swings, traditional songs and dancing are the unique features of Teej celebrations in Rajasthan. Women perform traditional folk dance dressed in green colored clothes and sing beautiful Teej songs while enjoying their sway on swings bedecked with flowers.
On the occasion of Teej festival, markets in Jaipur of Rajasthan are stocked with trendiest women accessories and clothes. Most of the fabric clothes display laheria (tie and dye) prints. Sweet shops keep different Teej sweets but ghewar is the main sweet of the season. At some shops malpuas are also prepared in great quantities.
All over Rajasthan, swings are hung from trees and decorated with fragrant flowers. Women both married and unmarried love to swing on these swings to celebrate the 'sawan festival' of Teej. Teej fairs of Rajasthan are held in number of cities in Rajasthan. Most impressive ones take place in Jaipur of Rajasthan. Whole city is immersed in the color of the festival. There are number of stalls showcasing the culture of Rajasthan. Handicrafts, traditional Rajasthani dresses and junk jewelry are some of the major attractions for tourists visiting the fairs. One of the attractions of the Jaipur Teej fair is the traditional Rajasthani mehndi.
Teej procession of Jaipur of Rajasthan not just attracts visitors from India but also lures a large number of international tourists. High point of Teej procession is the magnificently decorated idol of Goddess Parvati which is kept on a palanquin and carried through the Pink City of Jaipur of Rajasthan. Thousands of devotees throng the procession which is carried out for two consecutive days. Antique gilt palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, chariots, caparisoned elephants, camels, bands, and dance groups form a part of the grand Teej procession. The palanquin of Goddess Parvati is carried by eight men dressed in red color. Teej procession is a very huge affair which moves through various places in Jaipur. Lot of Teej songs are sung when the procession moves further. Folk artists and performers enchant the crowd with their splendid performance. Some people even dress up like Gods and Goddesses and play various musical instruments. Teej prasad is distributed among the crowd of devotees.
Types of Teej Festival
There are three different variations of Teej, namely – Hariyali, Kajari and Hartalika Teej. All the three Teej falls in different times and are celebrated with fervor and enthusiasm by womenfolk in India. Date of Teej Festival is decided according to the arrival of monsoon and hence it changes every year. There are special rituals and customs associated with every Teej. These traditions hold great importance for women celebrating the festival of Teej. Read on to learn about different dates of all the three Teej celebrations.
Hariyali Teej also called Teejen is celebrated with extreme mirth and devotion by womenfolk. It falls in the Shukla Paksha of Shravana, corresponding to the month of August. As the name says, Hariyali Teej relates to greenery. On this day, many women clad themselves in green colored clothes and wear green bangles. A special puja is performed to worship moon. Traditional singing of songs and dance escalates the verve of Haryali Teej celebrations.
A day before Hariyali Teej, women celebrate 'Sindhare'. It is a significant day for newly wed brides. On her first "Sindhara" after marriage, it is customary to receive clothes and ornaments from her Mother-in-law. On Hariyali Teej, women gather to worship moon. The puja performed on this occasion is done with milk, curd and flowers.
Hariyali Teej is mainly related with greenery and commemorates for abundance of greenery and good harvest. Women wear green colored clothes like lehanga, suits and sarees. They wear green bangles and adorn their hands with beautiful mehandi patterns. Women both married and unmarried enjoy the festive spirit by swinging on adorned swings singing songs relating to the month of Sawan. Various delicious food items are cooked which is relished by all in the family.
The day is enjoyed with full craze that even the Gujarati women adopt the Rajasthani traditions. In Gujarat, special Garba dance is arranged. Women in their traditional clothes carry pots on their heads and dance singing songs in praise of Goddess Parvati.
In Maharashtra, women wear green bangles, green clothes, golden bindis and kajal for luck. They distribute beautifully painted coconuts to their female relatives and friends and offer fresh fruit and green vegetables to the goddess as thanks giving.
Hariyali Teej Celebrations in Vrindavan
There are great festivities in Vrindavan which goes on up to Janmashtmi. Lord Krishna devotees celebrate Hariyali Teej with great enthusiasm and excitement in the holy place of Vrindavan. At the time of Hariyali Teej, swings are laid down in the shrines of Vrindavan for the deities to swing upon. This religious ceremony is called 'Jhullan Leela'. Religious songs and hymns are chanted in the famous 'Banke Bihari' temple. Even leelas of Radha and Lord Krishna are narrated. Hariyali Teej is the most auspicious occasion as on this day idols Lord Krishna and Radha comes out of their 'pat' (place where idols are kept in the temple) to give their devotees a single vision. Idols of Lord krishna and Radha are adorned with fine clothes and jewelry.
The main attraction of Hariyali Teej in Vrindavan is the gold-ornamented swing of Lord Krishna which comes only once a year. After offering prayers in the temple, holy water is sprinkled over the devotees to give a feeling of the advent of the monsoon. Indian as well as foreign devotees come to attend special Hariyali Teej celebrations at Vrindavan.
Kajari Teej is celebrated with immense devotion and love. It falls on the Krishna Paksh Tritiiya, the third day of sawan or shravan - the fifth month in Hindu calendar. On the auspicious occasion of Kajli Teej, women gather to sing songs in honor of Lord Krishna and perform sacred pooja of neem.
Kajli Teej is celebrated with extreme gaiety and enthusiasm by womenfolk. Women and young girls wear new clothes on Kajli Teej. On this day, swings are laid down in the garden and ladies sing auspicious songs and dance with full enthusiasm. Some Kajari songs are sung to welcome monsoon season while others depict happiness and union of lovers. There are some other songs which portray the pain of separation. Festival of Kajri Teej is also identified with blackish shades of clouds which cover the sky during the monsoon before raining down. On this day, there is a community pooja of neem. Women gather around the holy neem tree and perform specific rituals.
Kajari Teej in Bundi, Rajasthan
Celebrations of Kajari Teej in Bundi, Rajasthan are the most famous one. In Bundi, Kajari Teej is celebrated enthusiastically and joyfully. Here it is celebrated on the third day of the month of 'Bhadra'. The festival of Kajli Teej starts with a procession of Teej Goddess in a decorated palanquin. The procession moves from the picturesque Naval Sagar. It heads with bedecked elephants, camels, performers, musicians, folk dancers and artists. There are stunning performances by artists and cultural performers specially organized for the tourists who have come to see Kajari Teej celebrations in Bundi.
Hartalika Teej is the biggest of the various variation of Teej. Hartalika Teej falls on the third day of the first fortnight of the month of 'Bhadra'. It is a three-day festival which is celebrated by women in honor of Parvati Ma. On this day, womenfolk keep fast for long and conjugal life of their husband. Hartalika Teej fast proceeds without even drinking a drop of water. By rigorous fasting and praying to Goddess Parvati on Hartalika Teej, married women are blessed with healthy life of their husband while the unmarried girls are said to be blessed by a husband like Lord Shiva.
Hartalika Teej commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. On this day, idol of Parvati Mata clad in bright colorful clothes is taken out in a palanquin in a procession. The procession of Hartalika Teej is represented by various artists and performers. Parvati idol is also accompanied by several elephants and camels which is the most attractive part of the Teej procession. A fair is also organized on Hartalika Teej.
Women celebrate the festival of Hartalika Teej with immense fervor and enthusiasm. Married ladies come back to their parent’s home to celebrate the festival of Rajasthan. Hartalika Teej is the time to adorn oneself with new clothes and jewelry. Applying mehndi on hands and feet is a unique feature of Hartalika Teej celebrations. Women usually dress up in green colored clothes, wear golden bindi and apply a thick layer of kajal. They do their best to look beautiful at the time of Hartalika Teej.
Women also distribute beautifully painted coconuts to their female relatives and friends. Fresh fruits, sweets and green vegetables are offered to Goddess Parvati as thanks giving. The fasting day proceeds with evening prayers and traditional dancing and singing activities.
Legend of Teej Festival of Rajasthan
Teej is a major festival of women in Rajasthan. It is celebrated every year in the month of July-August with great enthusiasm and verve. Festival of Teej dedicates the day's celebration to Goddess Parvati. The festival's theme is the devotion of women towards their husbands or to-be-husbands. Married and unmarried women adorn themselves to their best and pray for long life of their husband. Though Teej celebrates the advent of monsoon but there is a legend associated with it which makes the day more auspicious.
One of the most popular legends of Goddess Parvati led to Teej celebrations and women's devotion towards their husband. Teej celebrations originated from an age-old legend of Goddess Parvati. Hindu mythology states that Goddess Parvati reunited with Lord Shiva on this day. She went through hard-core tapasya or penance and took 108 births on the earth. The myth also states that she failed to have Lord Shiva as her husband till 107th birth. In her 108th birth, Lord Shiva realized her devotion and love for him and accepted as his wife.
It is said Goddess Parvati declared this moment to be highly auspicious for womenfolk and proclaimed that whoever invokes her on this day will be blessed with happy married life and whatever one desires. Women observe nirjala vrat and spend sleepless nights during the three day festival of Rajasthan. This is symbolic to the penance which Goddess Parvati went through.
Teej honors Goddess Parvati – symbol of utter devotion and love. And since the celebration of Teej totally relate to Goddess Parvati, so she is also called Teej Mata.
Both married and unmarried Hindu women observe the three-day-long festival seeking blissful married life and happiness for their husband. Teej festivities and its celebrations are dedicated to Goddess Parvati this is why it's purely a festival of womenfolk.
Significance of Teej Festival of Rajasthan
Teej festival is an important festival of Rajasthan. Two very vital factors govern its celebration. One is that it is a monsoon festival and the other relates to the most popular legend of Shiva-Parvati. Rooted deep in Indian religious and cultural ethos - Teej plays a significant role in defining the true nature of relationship between married couples. Besides, the festival of Rajasthan provides much needed break to womenfolk from their daily household drudgery. Find out how Teej is significant in these and more ways to the women in India.
Teej Festival of Rajasthan heralds the beginning of monsoon season. It is celebrated in the month of Shravan which brings a great relief from the scorching heat of summers. Teej has special importance in the state of Rajasthan as it is celebrated in the rainy season which transforms the dry-parched lands of Rajasthan totally green. Teej becomes more auspicious and special if it rains on this day. With the arrival of monsoon, peacocks come out to dance while women enjoy themselves by swinging and dancing in the rain.
Religious Significance of Teej Festival
Religious significance of Teej festival lies in devotion of Goddess Parvati for her husband Lord Shiva. It was on this day that the divine couple Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati reunited with each other after hundreds of years. Even today womenfolk commemorate this mythological event by observing 'Nirjara Vrat' for the well-being and long-life of their husband.
Teej festival of Rajasthan celebrates the advent of monsoon season. Teej festival of Rajasthan coincides with monsoon season and thus creates a greater impact for its celebration. Taking full advantage of the beautiful climate at this time women enjoy themselves by swinging, singing and dancing in rain.
Break from Daily Humdrum of Life
Teej celebration has great significance for womenfolk as it gives them their much needed break from the daily humdrum of life. For married women it also brings a chance to visit their parent’s house and relive childhood memories. No wonder, women celebrate the festival with great mirth and enthusiasm. They pay special attention to their appearance and deck themselves in beautiful clothes and fine jewelry. Women also apply intricate patterns of mehndi on their hands and feet.
One of the foremost significance of Teej festival of Rajasthan is that it helps in strengthening relationships between married couples. Women who observe fast for the long life of their husband in earnest devotion feel closer and more committed to their husband. While watching their wife straining themselves, husbands feel more special. They reciprocate by being more loving and caring towards their wife. Husbands usually express themselves by presenting gifts to their wife and being more sensitive towards their doting wives.
Teej Rituals and Traditions of Rajasthan
At the time of Teej, certain rituals and customs are followed by women so as to be blessed by Goddess Parvati. Married women return back to their parent’s house to celebrate the festival of Teej of Rajasthan. It is considered very auspicious for married and engaged women to receive Teej gifts from their parents-in-law and to be parents-in-law. Future in-laws of engaged girls gift them 'Shrinjhara' (a gift pack) which consists of henna, lac bangles, a special laheria dress and ghewar (a sweet dish). Other gifts are also received by women from their relatives and in-laws. Every ritual has its own significance and so ladies perform all Teej customs with extreme devotion. Women start preparing for Teej well in advance and go out shopping to bring all the items used in performing Teej rituals.
Teej Puja Rituals
Lot of activities and rituals are performed at the time of Teej Puja. Attired in traditional sarees and lehangas, women congregate in a temple to worship Parvati Ma, who took 108 births to reunite with Lord Shiva. On this day, idol of Goddess Parvati is bedecked with rich silk cloth and heavy jewelry. This day is considered very important as married women and engaged girls observe fast for long and healthy life of their husband and to-be-husband.
Women either gather at a nearby temple or a garden where the puja is arranged. The main puja takes place with holy offerings of flowers, sweets and coins. A semi-circle is created and an idol of Goddess Parvati is kept in the middle. A pujarin or all the ladies together narrate the holy Teej Katha. Young girls also sit down listening to the auspicious katha. While listening to the katha, women are expected to put their mind and thoughts towards their soul mate.
When the puja gets over women offer fruits, flowers and other holy items and seek blessings of Goddess Parvati for marital bliss. Another very important part of Teej Puja is the oil lamp which should be kept alight throughout the night as it is bad omen if it dies away.
At some places, after paying homage to Goddess Parvati, women bath with red mud found on the roots of the sacred Datiwan bush. This is an act of purification. It is believed that a woman is absolved from all sins after taking this holy bath.
At the end of the day, women share their happiness and joy by dancing and singing traditional songs in praise of Lord Shiva and her consort Parvati.
Tradition of Adorning Oneself
On Teej, both married and unmarried girls dress up in traditional colored clothes. Women wear colorful clothes and gold-diamond jewelry to look like a new bride at the time of Teej. Some women even visit beauty parlors to look different on the special occasion of Teej. Many women especially the newly weds wear their wedding dress on the day. Most prominent colors of Teej are red, pink and green. Women start shopping for Teej well in advance. It gives them the opportunity to look beautiful of all.
Ladies also wear new gold and diamond jewelry. Some women wear very heavy jewelry while some wear light jewelry. Women have full liberty to ask for anything they wish. Even their husband does not stop them from doing anything and gift them whatever they desire as they starve themselves for well-being of their husband.
Ritual of Teej Henna
The most important ritual is to beautify hands with special mehandi designs and alta. Girls and women of Rajasthan apply intricate patterns of alta and mehandi to their hands and feet. This is also a part of Teej Shringar. Special Mehndi designs are applied to match the mood of the festival of Rajasthan. Women can be seen in the markets getting their palms decorated with henna. It is said, "The darker the henna, the more a woman is loved by her husband and in-laws". Sometimes, women also hide name of their husband in the mehndi design which later becomes part of the search game. Husbands search out their name and gift something to their beloved wife.
Tradition of Vat Vriksha
Another important ritual is to worship Nyagrodha tree or Vat Vriksha. The tree is considered highly auspicious with its hanging branches reflecting knowledge. Women tie swings to the Vat Vriksha and dance while enjoying the showers of rain.
Tradition of Teej Fasting
The holy custom of fasting form an integral part of Teej celebrations of Rajasthan. Hence Teej is also famous as 'women fasting festival' of Rajasthan. For full 24 hours women refrain themselves from food and water to ensure long life of their husband. The tradition to fast for so long without water and food has a pious legend associated with it. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati underwent penance for 100 years to be accepted by Lord Shiva. Even till date women pay homage to Goddess Parvati and seek blessings for blissful marital life. Teej fast is widely popular in Northern as well as North-West region. Tradition of Teej fasting is obligatory for women belonging to Kayastha community.
Teej fast is 24 hour-long and begins immediately after the first day of Teej. It is a pre-fasting day on which ladies gather to sing and dance. Mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters sit together to have a lavish feast because the rigorous fast begins at midnight. Married women keep fast for healthy life of their husband while unmarried girls keep it to marry a person who good and understanding. Women dress up in red colored clothes as it is associated with Hindu married women. One can see this holy scene every year as devotional women prepare themselves to undertake a day-long fast and prayers only for their husband.
Teej fast is a difficult one as women restrict themselves even from a morsel of food and drop of water for full 24 hours. Many women face health problems because of this. It is especially very difficult for the newly wed women to keep the 24-hour-long fast without eating and drinking anything. One needs lot of patience and courage to keep such a long fast. Usually mother-in-law encourages their sweet bahus to drink juice or tea so that they don't fall sick on such an auspicious occasion of Rajasthan. Pregnant ladies are advised not to keep the fast and even if they observe the fast it is advisable to consult a doctor. Many pregnant ladies go on a diet of milk and fruits and fulfill their nutritional requirements. To pass away the arduous day women also play a lot of games, watch movies and do many other activities to pass their time. Some even go off to sleep and don't involve themselves in any household activity.
After the day-long fast for longevity of their soul mate is over, women drink water and eat some healthy food. Many husbands make their wife drink water with their hands.
Tradition of Worshiping Teej Mata
The most important ritual of Teej is to bedeck Parvati Mata and carry out auspicious processions on the streets. Idol of Goddess Parvati is decorated with fine jewelry and new colorful clothes. The fasting day of Teej is very vital as women pray to Goddess for marital bliss and happy life. Charmingly decorated idol of Goddess Parvati is kept at the center of the place where women gather to offer Teej prayers. Different Teej festival songs are sung praising Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Women dance merrily on various Teej and sawan festivals songs and enjoy the festive mood.
On the last day of the Teej festival of Rajasthan, Teej idol is taken out from the pat (holy place where she is kept). The idol is freshly painted and bedecked with pure gold and other fine jewelry. Bright colors are used to decorate the Goddess. The idol is offered fruits, milk, chapati, nookti, ghewar and pure jal by saints performing prayers and chanting holy shlokas.
Teej idol covered with a canopy is taken out in the procession. Specially decorated 'band baaza' with a team of performers precede the procession. The 'Teej Mata Palki' or 'Takht-e-Rawan' is carried by 8 men dressed in red color. In the Pink City of Rajasthan, Jaipur where grand celebrations for Teej takes place carries out Teej Mata in a royal procession from the city palace so that the general public can pay homage to the festival Goddess and get their desires fulfilled.
In the Teej Mata procession there are around 10-12 elephants, 16 well-adorned horses and performers including dancers, singers and folk-artists. Beautifully decorated camels and bullock carts are an added attraction to the festival procession. Bhog is also given to the devotees who come closer to pay homage to the deity.
There is a huge rush to have a single glimpse of Teej Mata Palki. People in colorful traditional dresses even reach the top of houses and tree tops to have a splendid view of the holy procession. As the procession moves forward people keep offering precious ornaments to the idol. The time when “Mata” is about to reach back its place, the idol gets almost covered with gold and silver jewelry.
Tradition of Shrinjhara
To celebrate the auspicious occasion of Teej festival of Rajasthan, women perform some serious rituals. It is customary for married women to return to their parents' home at the time of Teej festival. Married women and engaged girls get lot of presents from their father-in-law as per Teej customs. A traditional gift package called 'Shrinjhara' or 'Sindhare' is gifted to their daughter-in-law. This traditional name originated from the Hindi word shringaar meaning adornment. Shrinjhara package consists of Ghewar (sweet), traditional laheria dress (tie & dye), and henna and lac bangles. All these items are used by the ladies to adorn themselves.
Tradition of Baya
Baya is another traditional package given to women observing fast on Teej festival of Rajasthan. It includes dry fruits, mathris, new clothes, bangles and jewelry. It is given by mothers of the newly wed girls on the Teej Festival day.
Tradition of Lighting a Lamp
As per the ritual of Teej fasting, a woman should keep an oil lamp lit all night. If the oil lamp dies away, it is considered a bad omen.
Last but not the least; swings are the common sight when Teej is near. Beautifully decorated swings are hung from trees in the garden and gaily dressed up women swing and sing traditional Teej songs. Some women also dance while singing the holy songs.
Teej Celebrations of Rajasthan
Teej celebrations take place in various parts of Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat. Being an important women festival, Teej festival of Rajasthan is celebrated with full verve and enthusiasm. It is held to mark the advent of monsoon season and also a very important festival for engaged and married women. On this day, women pray to Goddess Parvati for long and healthy life of their husband.
Teej festival of Rajasthan is celebrated in a very colorful way. Women start preparing for Teej festival a week before the festival of Rajasthan. For Teej celebration, women buy new clothes, jewelry and accessories to wear on the festival day. Markets are usually crowded with women shopping for various items to adorn one. On Teej festivalof Rajasthan, women try to look as beautiful as they can. Intricate mehndi designs are also applied to hands and feet. Women spend a lot of money of Teej festival preparations. Even husbands do not say anything to their wife and help them in festival preparations.
Teej celebrations are not only confined to the women celebrating the festival of Rajasthan. Teej celebrations take place round the city of Rajasthan. A few days before the festival of Rajasthan, the image of Goddess Parvati is repainted and beautifully decorated with fine clothes and jewelry. Idol of Teej Mata is taken out in the special Teej procession. A special Teej procession is organized in which the bedecked idol of Goddess Parvati is kept on a palanquin and carried out in the procession. Thousands of devotees wait on streets for hours to have a glimpse of Parvati Ma. Number of artists like folk singers, dancers and other performers follow the Teej procession and become the main attraction of the festival of Rajasthan. Apart from this, there are caparisoned elephants, bullock carts, and chariots. People dance down the streets along with other performers as they completely engross in Teej festivities. Many tourists flock the princely state to be part of Teej celebrations.
Apart from this, women love to celebrate the festival of Rajasthan by making their own special arrangements. Beautifully decorated swings are hung from trees and attractively dressed women dance and sing various Teej and Sawan songs. Fragrances of flowers on Teej swings pervade the atmosphere. After this, women offer prayers to Parvati Mata and the Teej Vrat successfully completes.
At the end of the day, husbands come to pick their wife and sometimes even bring presents for them. This way Teej festival of Rajasthan bring lot of happiness for both married and unmarried couples and create some everlasting memories.