Dhanteras also known as the festival of...
Teej is a colorful Indian festival which is celebrated by women during the monsoon season.
Celebrations of Teej
On this auspicious day, young girls and married women apply Mehendi on their hands, wear colorful bangles, beautiful saris and adorn themselves with jewelry. Hindu women observe a strict fast during this festival to obtain the blessings of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva for a happy married life. They also visit the temple to offer their special prayers to Goddess Parvati.
Women sing local folk songs, perform dances and enjoy swings which were traditionally put on the branches of trees. It is basically a village festival but now it is celebrated in cities too.
A special sweet called ‘ghewar‘ is prepared and distributed as Prasad.
History and Origin of Teej
Teej symbolizes the reunion of Shiva and his wife Parvati. According to the Hindu mythology, on this day, Parvati came to Shiva’s abode, marking the union of the husband and wife. It demonstrates the sacrifice of a wife to win the mind and the heart of the husband.
Goddess Parvati carried out a rigorous fast for 108 years to prove her love and devotion for Shiva, before he accepted her as his wife. Some scriptures say that she was born 107 times before she was reborn as Parvati, and at her 108th birth, she was granted the boon to be the wife of Shiva because of her long penance and perseverance over many births. Hence, Teej is celebrated to honor the devotion of Parvati, who is also known as ‘Teej Mata,’.
Teej is celebrated in almost all the regions of Northern India. People of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan celebrate Teej with great enthusiasm. This festival marks the celebration of well-being of spouse, children and personal purification.
Significance of Teej
The importance of Teej is mainly two-fold:
It is a festival for women who honor and emulate the love, devotion and sacrifice as that of Goddess Parvarti towards Lord Shiva.
Second, Teej celebrates the arrival of the monsoons – The season of rains bringing in a reason to celebrate when people can take a break from the sweltering heat and enjoy the swing of the monsoon – ‘Sawan ke jhooley’ and new agricultural cultivation. That is why this Teej in Shravan is also known as Hariyali Teej.
Besides, it’s an occasion for married women to visit their parents and return with gifts for their in-laws and spouse. So, Teej provides an opportunity to renew family bonds.
Haryali Teej and Jhulan Ustav or Hindola Utsav fall on the same day. However, Haryali Teej is a monsoon festival dedicated to Goddes Parvati whereas, Jhulan Utsav is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha.
Jhulan Utsav is celebrated at the Banke Bihari Temple and other Temples in Vrindavan area of Uttar Pradesh. This festival lasts until Krishna Janmashtami for 13 days.
It is said that on this day Shri Radha visits her parent’s home at Barsana where she sways with her friends on the swings. Here Lord Krishna accompanies Radha Rani and enjoys the swings.
On the day of Teej, the idols of Radha Rani and Lord Krishna are adorned in green coloured clothes and placed on swings in the Temples.
This festival brings colour, frolic and liveliness in our lives. Wishing all of us a very Happy Teej !!
Guru Bhagwan ke anant anant shukrane !!