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First Teej is a day of absolute devotion and love for newlywed brides. The celebration of the First Teej festival is of utmost importance for newlywed couples. It is a day for wives to express their deep love and affection for their husbands. There is much craze and excitement of First Teej, it is quite apparent on the faces of women as they prepare for the festival well in advance.
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Newlywed brides begin their first Teej preparations well in advance. The craze of the Teej festival enchants them to buy new clothes, jewelry, and other fine accessories for her adornment. Teej gives them a chance to get dressed like a new bride once again after marriage. Most women wear their wedding dresses and also wear heavy gold and diamond jewelry. Some women also buy new saree or lehenga and jewelry for their first Teej. Mehendi or henna is applied to hands and feet covers almost half of the hands and legs.
First Teej brings a lot of excitement for young brides as they go to their parents' homes to celebrate this festival. All Teej rituals are performed at her parents’ home.
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Women who celebrate their first Teej are pampered by all family members. They are not allowed to do any house chores on this day. Their husbands and other family members take special care to make these women extremely comfortable. Fasting for the first time, the women are little apprehensive but as time passes they totally indulge themselves in the festivities. They perform all rituals earnestly as it is their first Teej. Some mothers-in-law act as a support system for their daughters-in-law as they ensure extra care of their beloved bahu.
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On this day, the women decorate their houses extensively with flowers and lights; they also apply henna on their hands and wear new clothes and traditional jewelry. They worship the Vrat, or banyan tree. Decorated swings are hung on the trees everywhere in the city and the women take turns to swing on them while they sing Teej songs in praise of Goddess Parvati.
They also visit the temple, and offer flowers, fruits, coins, and a special prayer is narrated to the women also known as “Teej Katha”, without which this festival is incomplete. During the puja, a lamp is light throughout as a symbol of their devotion and dedication to the Gods. At the end of the day, they sing praise to Goddess Parvati and wait for their husbands.
To commemorate the traditions of First Teej, women get their pictures taken.
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Women celebrating their first Teej receive gifts from their parents, parents-in-law, husbands and loved ones. Parents-in-law gift them 'Shrinjhara' or 'Sindhare' which is an important part of Teej rituals. The word 'shrinjhara' meaning “adornment”, it consists of traditional laheria dress, bangles, henna or Mehendi, sindhur or vermillion and special sweets like “ghewar”. Parents and relatives usually present clothes, jewelry, dry fruits and other Teej special gifts to the newlywed bride.