Haritalika Teej

Teej is the most famous festival celebrated by Nepali and Hindu women all over the world. It is celebrated on the 3rd day of Bhadra Sukal Paksha (according to Nepali lunar calendar), which is usually late August or early September. This year, the Teej celebration will begin on Thursday, August 24 and end on Saturday, August 26.This three-day long festival is traditionally dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, remembering her union with Lord Shiva. It combines splendid feasts as well as rigid fasting.

Women in exquisite red sarees, adorn their bodies with delicate jewelry and body ornaments. The long strand of green, glass beads (potey) worn over one shoulder and across the body is called “Chadkey Tilahari.” The gold ornament, attached in the hair and hanging down on the forehead is called “Bindiya.”

They gather in streets, markets or public places to dance and sing hoping for the long life of their husbands and for a long and firm relationship between them until their death in this life and all lives to come. Teej is observed for marital happiness, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul.

The women wear red because the Teej festival got its name from a small red insect that comes out of the soil during rainy season. The first day of the three -day festival is called Dar Khane Din. On this day, both married and unmarried ladies gather in one place in their finest red sarees. The group sing and dance devotional songs mixed with Nepali folk and Dohori songs.

In the evening, a grand feast called, Dar Khane takes place until midnight. Dar Khane means heavy food in Nepali. The feast includes mutton and chicken, traditional foods like sel roti, puri and many desserts like mithai. The women eat this lavish meal, which also includes food cooked with lots of ghee, vegetables and sweet rice three times on this day. After that, a 24-hour fast begins. Women offer worship to Lord Shiva and spend the rest of the day singing and dancing in their homes and at the Temples.