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Teej and Shiva Poojan- A Ritual

One festival with three days of celebrations for the women in Nepal; are you excited for all fun and no work? Nepal is known for its incredible culture and traditions as festivals and, Teej is among the most important ones. There are many variants of Teej celebrated by women, of which Hartalika Teej is the one observed in Nepal. A celebration of women, Teej is observed on the Shukla Paksha Tritiya of the Bhadra month. 

Festivals in Nepal are intricate with legends and folklores with mythological roots. Even the name Hartalika is rooted in a legend; goddess Parvati had regarded Lord Shiva as her husband but, her father insisted on her marriage to Lord Vishnu. Goddess Parvati asked her friend (aalika) to abduct (harit) and leave her in a forest so that she can avoid marrying Lord Vishnu. Parvati undertook a life full of penance and devotion towards Lord Shiva and even made a lingam with her hair. The legend goes that Lord Shiva tested her devotion and disguised as Vishnu in front of Parvati, who was completely unaffected by him. That led to Shiva agreeing to the marriage with Parvati, and this day is the celebration of Teej. The belief is that Goddess Parvati took 108 births of penance to marry Lord Shiva, which gives her the name of ‘Teej Mata’ (Goddess of Teej).

 

Teej is the most important festival for married women who dress up in red and green attires, apply henna, wear shimmering colorful bangles, and fast for the well-being of their husbands. The Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu is the center of celebrations as thousands of women gather around and engage in singing and dancing together on Teej and other folk songs. 

Few women celebrate Teej at their maternal homes and shop for clothes, jewelry, gifts; days ahead. Mothers also send traditional gifts including food and clothing, for their daughters. Teej festivities are for three days, which involve a day each of feasting, fasting, and Rishi puja. 

The first day, known as Dar Khane Din, is a special feast day for the women. After dressing up for the occasion, many women assemble for the Dar feast; they consume delicacies, indulge in fun banter, and dance. The second day is fasting, which begins at midnight of Dar khane din and is a 24-hour fast. Women observe Nishivasar Nirjala Vrat and do not consume food and water, though few women prefer having fruits. The third day is Rishi Panchami; the Saptarishi (seven sages) are exalted, and the women undertake a holy bath with red mud found on the roots of the sacred tree bush (datiwan). 

Teej is an annual festival. Each year visit foomantra.com to make your Teej celebration special. Plan your celebration and get ideas from exclusive decors and cultural items  by Foomantra, or by shopping for jewelry, a few for yourself and others as presents. Foomantra.com has special items for each of you ladies out there to make your Teej perfect!

 

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