Teej (26th of July)
Teej is a very popular and sacred Hindu festival in India, celebrated in all of the different parts of the country, by the women, to seek blessings from the gods for their husbands’ long lives. This year it will be celebrated on the 26th of July, 2017. The festival of Teej honors and pays tribute to the impeccable devotion of Goddess Parvati, who had undergone years and years of penance and sacrifices to finally become a consort of Lord Shiva. Thus, on the occasion of Teej, all married women observe a fast to seek blessings of Goddess Parvati, in order to live a happy married life. And on the other hand, many unmarried girls too observe the festival of Teej by keeping a fast to show their devotion of getting a husband as exemplary as Lord Shiva.
In Hindu customs, there are three kinds of Teej, each celebrated in different states of the country, with a little difference in their rituals, however, with the same objective, that is—seeking blessings for the long life of one’s husband. The types of Teej are- Haryali Teej, Hartalika Teej, and finally the Kajri Teej. The Haryali Teej is also known as ‘’Choti Teej’’ and it is held in the month of Shravana as per the traditional Hindu calendar. This is followed by the ‘’Badi Teej’’ that is the Kajri Teej, which takes place right after 15 days from the celebration of Choti Teej or Haryali Teej. And finally, the Hartalika Teej takes place around one month later from the celebration of Choti Teej, in the Bhado month, as per the traditional Hindu calendar. The Hatalika Teej is all set to take place on the 24th of August this year.
On the festival of Teej, every woman dresses up beautifully in traditional attires as they observe an all day fast and perform the Puja for Goddess Parvati to seek her blessings for a happy and peaceful marital life and also a long and healthy life for her husband. All women offer fruits, sweets, flowers, as well as sindoor to Goddess Parvati as they jointly participate in all the rituals of Teej. While some women observe nirjala vrata, that is fast without even drinking water, some choose to observe fast where they can at least have fruits. It is only after all the rituals of the festival are over that they can finally break their fast at the end of the day.
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