Haritalika Teej - Festival Of The Women In Nepal

Haritalika Teej - Festival Of The Women In Nepal

Sep 09 . 2021

Teej is the collective term for a variety of Hindu festivals observed by women of Nepal and India. Haryali Teej and Hartalika Teej, which greet the monsoon season with singing, dancing, and prayer ceremonies, are predominantly enjoyed by girls and women.

Teej's monsoon celebrations are primarily focused on Parvati and her marriage to Shiva. Teej is typically celebrated by women fasting. Hartalika Teej is a Nepalese festival observed throughout the country, as well as most of North India.

Women historically hold Teej celebrations to commemorate the monsoon season during the Hindu months of Shravan and Bhadrapada. During Teej, women frequently pray to Parvati and Shiva.

Why the Name Teej?

Teej denotes the third day following the new moon (amavasya) and the third day following the whole moon night of each lunar month. Kajari Teej and Hartalika Teej, according to Kumar (1988), are in Bhadrapada.

Teej refers to the monsoon festivities that are celebrated throughout India's western and northern states, as well as Nepal. The celebrations combine social activity, rituals, and customs to celebrate nature's abundance, the coming of clouds and rain, vegetation, and birds.

Women's holidays include Haryali Teej, dancing, singing, getting together with friends and exchanging stories, henna-coloured hands and feet, wearing red, green, or orange clothing, eating celebratory meals, and swinging beneath trees.

Hartalika Teej

Hartalika combines the Hindi terms harit and aalika, which respectively imply "abduction" and "female companion." Parvati, according to the tale of Hartalika Teej, took the form of Shailaputri.

Parvati worshipped and fashioned a shiva lingam out of her hair on the third day of the bright half of Bhadrapud. Shiva was so taken aback that he agreed to marry Parvati. Parvati was eventually united with Shiva and married him with her father's approval. Since then, the day has been known as Hartalika Teej, since Parvati's female (aalika) companion had to kidnap (harit) her for the goddess to marry Shiva.

As a result, Hartalika Teej is celebrated on the third day of the bright half of the Indian/North Nepali lunar month of Bhadrapud. During the evening of Hartalika Teej, festival ladies feasted, prayed to Parvati and Shiva, remembered their wedding, and stayed up all night listening to prayers.

The fast begins on Hartalika Teej evening and ends the next day after a full day of observance that includes ladies not even drinking water. The emphasis is on praying to Parvati, whom Shiva wished to be worshipped as Hartalika.

Haritalika Teej Celebration In Nepal

The festival is dedicated to Parvati and commemorates her union with Shiva. It is observed for the well-being of one's spouse and children, as well as the cleansing of one's body and mind. Teej festival is a 3-day event that includes lavish feasts as well as strict fasting.

Women celebrate Teej (also romanized Tij) for her husband's long life and their long and strong connection in this life and all future lifetimes. On the third day after the new moon of the month of Bhadra, ladies from various castes of Nepalese culture, notably the Bahun, Chettri, Magars, Kiratis, and others, celebrate it (mid-August to mid-September).

Teej has historic and modern characteristics as a festival of enjoying good times with siblings, and it is referred to as a "festival of sisterhood" by certain groups.

Although it appears to be a celebration of sisterhood because married women have a rare opportunity to meet with sisters and friends from their birthplace, there is a vital role for brothers in celebrating the festival, as they are to call their sisters on this auspicious occasion and cook exceptional food for their sisters. All the girls enjoy time doing make-up to look their best and dancing to forget about their troubles.

Traditional Values of Teej

According to Hindu legend, Parvati fled away from her house with her friends to the woods because she was frightened that her father Himalaya would give his daughter Parvati in marriage to Vishnu, according to Shree Swosthani Bratakatha. She then went to the woods and prayed to Shiva, requesting that he grant her wish to marry him.

He responded, "tathastu," which means he will grant her request. That was Teej's day, and Parvati finally got her spouse, as she had wished for all her life. Unmarried women commemorate this day to find the spouse of their dreams, while married women celebrate it for their husband to have a long, healthy, and prosperous life.

First Day

Dar Khane Din is the name given on the first day of Teej. On this day, the women gather in one location dressed to the nines and begin dancing and singing devotional songs. The great feast takes place in the midst of all of this. The dinner is held by males, which is rare for this day. Women who work hard all year don't have to do anything on that particular day.

That is the day for them to fully immerse themselves in sorha singaar, dressing up and applying make-up to their hearts' content, indulging in delectable cuisine, and dancing. Because ladies are frequently asked to the feast by many brothers, they often try to dance off part of the food before eating more. The cuisine offered is expected to be lavish and plentiful.

This is perhaps the one day of the year when women have complete freedom of speech. As a result, ladies have historically utilized this occasion to sing songs about their sufferings and pangs while dancing.

Women nowadays take this opportunity to express their concerns about societal issues and discrimination against women, thanks to advancements in communication and awareness. The revelry usually lasts until midnight, after which the 24-hour fast begins.

Second Day

The second day is a fasting day. Some women refuse to eat or drink, while others consume liquids and eat fruit. Women, both married and single, follow the fast.

Married women fast from food and drink in the hopes that their devotion to the gods will reward their husband and family with longevity, tranquillity, and wealth. Unmarried women follow the fast in the hopes of finding a suitable husband.

They dress brightly and sing and dance their way to a local Shiva temple. The Pashupatinath Temple attracts the most visitors. Women circumambulate the Shiva lingam, which represents Shiva, at the temple, and bring flowers, sweets, and money to the worshippers.

The primary puja (religious ritual) begins with flowers, fruits, and other gifts offered to Shiva and his wife Parvati, begging them to bless the husband and family.

The oil lamp is an essential element of the puja and should be kept lit all night. It is thought that owning an oil lamp all night will bring the husband and family serenity and wealth.

Third Day

Rishi Panchami is the festival's third day. Women pay respect to seven saints or sages, give prayers to deities, and bathe in red mud located on the roots of the sacred datiwan bush, as well as its leaves, after completing the previous day's puja.

Rishi Panchami is the festival's third day. Women pay respect to seven saints or sages, give prayers to deities, and bathe in red mud located on the roots of the sacred datiwan bush, as well as its leaves, after completing the previous day's puja.

The Rishi Panchami is dedicated to women's purity. It's a period when women purge themselves of the "sin of contacting a male during menstruation."

Two days after the Teej, the women participate in ritual baths and puja (worship) during this festival.

Teej songs have become a critical commentary on gender relations from women's views in recent decades, as Nepal and the surrounding area have experienced tremendous growth and urbanization.

"These songs take the women's ideas and experiences of adversity from a private dialogue to a public stage," according to the press release. Teej songs provide women with a public voice, allowing them to affect change in their communities.