A celebration of marriage and family
When: Varying dates in August / September. 18th September 2012.
Where: North Indian states, especially Jaipur city, Rajasthan.
Women all over India celebrate Teej with great enthusiasm, dressing in their best saris and honouring the other women of the family and their husbands.
There are many special rituals and customs that hold great importance for the women of India associated with the three Teej celebrations held annually during August and September. The three Teej celebrations are Hariyali Teej, Kajari Teej and Hartalika Teej. All three Teej fall at different times according to the arrival of the monsoon season and so it changes every year. The festivals consist of activities and rituals and celebrate what is considered an ideal marriage between Parvati and Lord Shiva.
Hartalika Teej vrat or Hartalika Teej puja is a festival observed mostly in North Indian states. It is the most important Teej of all and lasts for three days. On the second day, women keep Nirjara Vrat (fasting for 24 hours without even a drop of water) for the long life and prosperity of their husbands.
Hartalika Teej commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. During the festival an idol of Parvati Mata clad in bright colorful clothes is taken out in a palanquin in a procession of brightly dressed artists and performers, and fabulously decorated elephants and camels.
Women do their utmost to look their most beautiful during Hartalika Teej and they dress up in new green or red colored clothes, wear golden bindi and jewelery, apply a thick layer of kajal to their eyes, and wear mehndi on their hands and feet. Married women return to visit their parents’ home to celebrate the festival. They give beautifully painted coconuts to their female relatives and friends, and fresh fruits, sweets and green vegetables are offered to Goddess Parvati as thanks.
When is Hartalika Teej?
Hartalika Teej falls on the third day of the first fortnight of the month of ‘Bhadra. Being based on the Hindu calendar the dates vary every year.
More information on www.teejfestival.org/
Have you been to the Hartalika Teej festival? If so, please tell us all about it!
A favourite during the Teej Festival is Ghevar, a crunchy orange honeycomb made from cottage cheese. Eat Sabzi Kari (vegetable curry). Try our recipe for Sabzi Kari. Hindus do not drink alcohol, but Indian beers like Cobra or Tiger beer may be available. Or drink Lassi with the girls.
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