The Indian festival of Teej is marked by the women who pray to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, they observe fats for three days and seek their blessings for marital bliss and harmony in relationships. Teej is a series of festivals that are celebrated during the holy month of Shravan or Sawan and Bhadrapad or Bhado. This month coincides with the monsoon in India, which are usually the months of July-August-September.
Just like any other festival in India, Teej also has many traditions and rituals. On the day of the Teej festival, women observe fasts and perform other rituals and customs for the healthy and long life of their husbands. Every custom holds its own significance and ladies perform them with all their dedication.
Customs and Rituals for Teej
Teej rituals and customs make this festival more interesting as it is very full of colors. Women who fast for their husbands ensure that no carelessness is done while the rituals are taking place. This festival calls for all rituals to be performed very seriously if one wants to be blessed with marital happiness.
Teej is celebrated with some serious rituals. It is customary for married women to go to their parents' house on the day of the festival. All married women get presents from their in-laws as per Teej customs. A traditional gift package known as the 'Shrinjhara' is gifted to the daughter-in-laws. The name originated from Hindi word “shringaar” which means adornment. The Shrinjhara package includes of Ghewar (traditional Teej sweet), traditional dress (usually tie and dye), mehendi or henna and bangles. Women use these items to get ready for the festival.
Baya is another traditional package given by the mothers of newly married women who observe fast on Teej. It generally includes savoury fried snacks (mathri), dry fruits, clothes, bangles and jewellery. It is given to the women on the Teej Festival day.
This is the most important ritual of this festival. Women fast, praying for the long and healthy life of their husbands. The Teej fast lasts 24 long hours. It is the most difficult fast, where a woman neither eats nor drinks.
Tradition of Lighting a Lamp
As per the Teej festival ritual ,an oil lamp should be kept lit all night by the women. If the oil lamp dies, it is a bad omen.
The most important ritual of Teej is to decorate an idol of Goddess Parvati. This idol of Goddess Parvati is decorated with jewellery and new colourful clothes. The day of Teej is very important as women pray to Goddess Parvati for marital harmony and a prosperous happy life.
Swings are a common sight when Teej is close. They are beautifully decorated and are hung from the trees in the garden. Women then swing on them and sing traditional Teej songs. Teej is a day of merry making for women.
Teej Puja Process or Vidhi
The Teej puja process includes the following:
- Women should get up early in the morning and take a bath with sesame and amalak powder.
- Wear new clothes given by her in laws
- Take a sankalp to perform this fast with all her might, so that Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva are pleased by her.
- Worship Lord Ganesh before she starts worshipping Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
- Then perform Ang Puja for Goddess Parvati.
- Bangles, turmeric, flowers, henna, kumkum or vermillion, saree are offered to Goddess Parvati.
- Special Naivedyam or bhog is prepared and offered to the divine couple.
- At the end of the puja the Teej katha is recited.