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Haritalika Teej

August 27, 2011

Haritalika Teej is one of the important festivals of Hindu women. Vast majority of population of Nepal being Hindus, it has a great importance among the Nepalese women. This festival falls normally in the end of August or early September. In this festival married women fast and worship Lord Shiva for long and healthy life of their husbands and unmarried ones fast to get a good husband. Traditional dances and songs are important part of this festival. Women normally wear red or bridal clothes in this festival. This festival has three precious days. Read More

Teej Celebrations
Teej is an annual festival of Nepali women. The festival is celebrated with utmost dedication and love by the women in Nepal. Preparations for the festival begin well in advance. Fabric stores, sarees and suit outlets are stocked with the bridal red color fabric. Women spend most of the time shopping when Teej is near.

Teej festival celebrations are carried further with sumptuous feasts and traditional performances. On this day, women dress up beautifully. They clad themselves in red colored apparels, wear glass bangles, heavy ornaments and apply henna. Teej gives women an opportunity to dress like the newly wed. They worship the epitome of divine marriage - Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, for longevity and prosperity for their husband and family.

Three Days of Teej
Teej is a three-day-long festival in Nepal and each day has its own significance.

  1. First day is called 'Dar Khane Din', the day to make merry.
  2. Second day is a 'fasting day'.
  3. The third day is called 'Rishi Panchami' in Nepal which is a day to perform Teej Puja.
Dar Khane Din
The first day of Teej in Nepal is called the 'Dar Khane Din'. On this day, the womenfolk dressed in the finest clothed gather at one place and perform traditional dance and sing devotional songs. A special food called 'dar' is eaten. Celebrations continue till midnight after which the 24-hour-long fast begins.

Fasting Day
The second or the fasting day of the Teej festival is dedicated to pujas and prayers. The holy Pashupatinath temple is thronged by women in red sarees to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. Women gather in the temple and circumambulate the Lingam (phallic symbol of the Lord) adorned with flowers, sweets and coins. The beautifully decorated idols of Shiva and Parvati are offered fruits and flowers to seek blessings of the divine spirits. Lighting of an oil lamp is very important part of the puja ceremony. It is said that the oil lamp should be kept lit all night to avoid bad omen.

Rishi Panchami
The third day of the Teej Festival is called Rishi Panchami. On this day, the seven sages of the Hindu pantheon are worshiped by women in a belief that it will cleanse all sins of the previous year. Womenfolk take a holy bath with red mud found on the roots of the sacred Datiwan bush, along with its leaves. After three hours of rigorous cleansing, they come out purified and absolved from all sins. After this they sit in a semicircle while a priest sitting in the middle chants devotional prayers.


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