|Also called||Monsoon Festival/Dedicated to Goddess Parvati|
Teej (Nepali: तीज); (Punjabi: ਤੀਜ (Gurmukhi)), and (Hindi: तीज) is a generic name for three festivals that are celebrated in Northern India and Nepal to welcome the monsoon season. The festival of Teej is also dedicated to Goddess Parvati and her union with Lord Shiva.
- 1 The types of Teej
- 2 Haryali Teej
- 3 Kajari Teej
- 4 Hartalika Teej
- 5 Elsewhere in India
- 6 Other festivals
- 7 Observance in Nepal of Hartalika Teej
- 8 Sindh
- 9 See also
- 10 References
The types of Teej
Teej is the name given to an insect that can be seen in the monsoon rains. "Teej" also refers to the "third" day that falls every month after the new moon (Amavasya), and the third day after the full moon night of every month. Accordingly, Teej can refer to any festival falling on such a day but when speaking of Teej, the festivals of Haryali Teej, Kajari Teej and Hartalika Teej are classed together. The other forms of Teej are separate festivals: such as Akshaya Tritiya). Awra Teej is celebrated in the lunar month of Vaisakh in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh: Awra Teej is not associated with the trio of the monsoon festivals of Teej. The Jhulan Utsav of Vrindaban is also an independent festival.
Haryali Teej is celebrated on the third day of the bright half of the North Indian Lunar month of Shraavana. . As Shraavana (or Saawan) month falls during monsoon or rainy season when the surroundings become green, the Shraavana Teej is also called Hariyali Teej (Green Teej). A fast is kept and the focus is the moon.
The Hariyali Teej festival is also celebrated to remember the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, the day when Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife. Goddess Parvati fasted and was austere for many years and was accepted by Lord Shiva as his wife in her 108 birth. Goddess Parvati is also known as Teej Mata. 
The next Haryali festival will be on 17 August 2015.
Observance in India of Haryali Teej
The traditional areas of celebration are:
Teej is known as teeyan in Punjab and is seen as a seasonal festival. The festival is celebrated by women of all faiths, and lasts from the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Sawan as per the Punjabi calendar to the full moon of Sawan (about 13 days). Teeyan involves women getting together and performing Gidda, married women visiting their families and receiving gifts. It is also traditional for women to ride on swings.
Fairs are organised in Schools and Colleges where dance competitions are held.
Chandigarh administration makes special arrangements for Teej celebration in the Rock Garden in the city. School children present plays and other cultural programs on this day. The female members of the family, especially daughters, are given gifts and dresses.
Haryali Teej is one of the famous festivals of Haryana, especially in the Gujjar, Ahir and Jat communities, and is celebrated as an official holiday. Many functions are organised by the Government of Haryana to celebrate this festival, which welcomes the rainy season. Boys traditionally flew kites from morning to evening, though this tradition is losing its charm in big cities due to high rise buildings and lack of terrace space.
Swings are set up in open courtyards for the first time of the season. Girls apply henna to their hands and feet and are excused from household chores on this day. On Teej, it is a must for the girls to receive new clothes from their parents.
On Teej, just as on Karva Chauth, the mother sends a baya or gift. The puja is performed in the morning. The baya, which consists of a variety of foodstuffs, is placed on a thaali at a place of worship where a chowk (square) has been decorated, and an idol or picture of Parvati has been installed. The evenings are set aside for singing and dancing, including the women's prayers for their husbands' longevity and their families.
Teej is the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). The monsoon rains fall on the parched land and the pleasing scent of the wet soil rises into the air. Swings are hung from trees and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon.
This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati is worshipped by seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness. An elaborate procession is taken out in Jaipur for two consecutive days on the festive occasion which is watched by people in large numbers. The Teej idol is covered with a canopy whereas the Gangaur idol is open. The traditional ghevar sweet is also associated with the festival.
Marwari community of Rajasthan
Teej is an important festival amongst the Marwari communities of Rajasthan. Women wear bangles and bindis. Swings are put on trees for the entertainment of young girls. Amongst the Baniyas and Marwaris, the festival is a celebration for women, especially young girls who are usually given gifts like new clothes. A special lunch is organized by women for themselves. It is customary for mothers-in-law to give a new daughter-in-law a piece of jewellery on her first Teej after marriage.
Traditionally, a married woman would go to her mother's house for Teej and come back after Rakhi. In this way they would spend about 10 days of the summer with their parents. It is customary that, when a daughter goes to her parents' house, she takes sweet and salty savouries with her.
On this day a special sweet called sattu is made for unmarried girls, which she can eat after seeing the moon at night.
This also celebrated in the North Indian Lunar month of Bhadrapud: the third day of the dark fortnight after full moon of Bhadrapada. The focus is to fast and pray to the neem tree (Azadirachta indica).
The Kajari festival will be on 1 September 2015
Hartalika is a combination of "Harat" and "Aalika" which means "abduction" and "female friend" respectively. According to the legend of Hartalika Teej, Goddess Parvati was incarnated as Goddess Shailaputri. A friend of Goddess Shailaputri took her to the thick forest so that her father would not marry her to Lord Vishnu against her wish. Eventually, Goddess Shailaputri was united with Lord Shiva.drikpanchang 
Hartalika Teej is seen as a major festival and is celebrated on the third day of the bright half of the North Indian Lunar month of Bhadrapud. The festival involves a three day fast. The focus is on praying to Goddess Parvati. The main areas of celebration Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand. In Rajasthan, an idol of Goddess Parvati is taken out in procession in the streets accompanied by singing, and music.
The Hartalika Teej festival has also spread to parts of Madhya Pradesh where it is celebrated as a minor festival.
The next Hartalika Teej will be on 16 September 2015.
Elsewhere in India
Hartalika Teej coincides with other festivals:
Kevada Teej, also known as Kevda Trij, is a festival observed mainly in Gujarat. The festival is celebrated on the third day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Bhadra in Gujarat. This observance is similar to the Hartalika Teej Vrat. Married and unmarried women observe a fast on the day and offer Kevada flower (Pandanus: pine screw) to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
Tay or Tayi
Hartalika of Maharashtra
The festival of Gowri Habba is celebrated as Hartalika to honour the two forms of Goddess Parvati: Goddess Harita and Goddess Gauri. In Maharashtra, Gauri is seen as the goddess of nature and this form of Goddess Parvati is venerated as the mother of Ganesh, hence the giver of life. A similar festival is celebrated in Rajasthan in the lunar month of Chaitra and is known as Gangaur.
Harita is the goddess of verdant vegetation and is worshiped on the day of Hartalika, which is the third day of Sukla Bhadrupada.
On the fourth day, Ganesh is worshiped. Thereafter, Gowri, mother of Ganesha, the divine mother, is worshipped. Idols of mother and son are bedecked with flowers and offered sweets and incense before being given a warm send off and immersed in water after five days.
Therefore, the Hartalika of Maharashtra is different to Hartalika Teej of the north.
Kajal Teej of Andhra Pradesh
Teej in Andhra Pradesh forms part of a wider celebration which is a forerunner to other festivals being celebrated and is known as Kajal Teej. Kajal Teej is one of the Banjara tribe's biggest festivals. It is quite popular in villages and thandas. It is a week long festival. On day 1 unmarried girls put wheat on a small bamboo basket. On the 7th day of sowing, the festival of Thamoli is celebrated. On the ninth day, an earthern idol is prepared which is taken with all the bamboo baskets in a procession and immersed in a nearby pond or river.
Haryali Teej coincides with the swing festival of 'Jhulan Leela' also known as 'Jhulan Utsav' which is associated with Krishna and Radha, and is celebrated at Banke Bihari Temple and other Temples in the Vrindavan area of Uttar Pradesh. The festival lasts until Krishna Janmashtami for 13 days.
On the day of Teej, idols of Krishna and Radha are placed on swings in the Temples and the focus of Jhullan Leela is religious. The green theme, popular in neighbouring Rajasthan and Haryana on Haryali Teej, can also be seen in the Jhulan Utsov. Idols of Krishna and Radha are dressed in green clothes.
Observance in Nepal of Hartalika Teej
Dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva, the festival is celebrated for well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul. The festival is a three-day-long celebration that combines sumptuous feasts as well as rigid fasting.
The first day of Teej is called Dar Khane Din. On this day the women, married and unmarried, assemble at one place in their finest attire and start dancing and singing devotional songs. Amidst all this, the grand feast takes place. What is unusual about this day is that the feast is hosted by men. Women, who work hard throughout the year, do not have to do anything that day. That is the day for them to embellish themselves in sorha singaar meaning dressing up and make up to the full extent, indulge in good food, and dance. Oftentimes, because women are invited by multiple brothers for the feast, they try to dance off some food before they are ready to eat more. The food served that day is supposed to be rich and abundant. This is probably the only day in a year that allows women full freedom of expression. Consequently, women have traditionally used this occasion to express their pains and pang in the lyrics of songs they sing while dancing. With the advancement of communication and awareness, women these days use this occasion to voice their concerns about social issues and discrimination against women. The jollity often goes on till midnight, after which the 24 hour fast starts.
The second day is the fasting day. Some women live without a morsel of food and drops of water while others take liquid and fruit. The fasting is observed by both married and unmarried women. Married women abstain strictly from food and drinks with a believe that their devotion to the god will be blessed with longevity, peace and prosperity of their husband and family. Unmarried women observe the fast with a hope of being blessed with a good husband in the future. On this day, they dress gaily and visit a nearby Shiva temple singing and dancing on the way. The Pashupatinath Temple gets the highest number of devotees. At the Shiva temple, women circumambulate the Shiva Lingam, which symbolizes Lord Shiva, offers the praying with flowers, sweets and coins. The main puja (religious ceremony) takes place with offerings of flowers, fruits, etc., made to Shiva and his wife goddess Parvati, beseeching them to grant their blessing upon the husband and family. The important part of the puja is the oil lamp which should be alight throughout the night. It is believed that by the lightening of oil lamp all night long will bring peace and prosperity to the husband and entire family.
The third day of the festival is Rishi Panchami. After the completion of the previous day's puja, women pay homage to seven saints or sages, offer prayers to various deities, and bathe with red mud found on the roots of the sacred datiwan bush, along with its leaves. This act of purification is the final ritual of Teej, after which women are considered absolved from all their sins. Recent years have witnessed an alteration in the rituals, especially concerning the severity, but its essence remains the same.
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