Teej is a festival celebrated by Nepali women, for the long life of her husband and long and firm relationship between them until the death this life and all the lives to come. Teej is observed for marital happiness, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul. Teej is the most famous festival among Nepali women.
The folk music and dances add more flavor to traditional values of Teej. It is fascinating to see women, in “Red” dancing and singing on the street, going to temple in holy and fasting mood. Teej is also called Hari Talika Teej. This festival is celebrated by Nepali Hindu women all across the world.
Teej is a small red insect that comes out of the soil during the rainy season. It is said Teej got its name from the same red insect. That is why Teej is celebrated in red.
On Teej, the devotees do not eat and drink the whole day. They first offer worship to Lord Shiva and spend the rest of the day singing and dancing in the temple premises. Singing Teej songs like “Teej ko rahar aayo bari lai”. Indeed, women are seen mostly in holy sites on this day. Men are not allowed to enter the most of Shiva Temples on this day.
Outside Kathmandu valley too, women gather in public places like roads and markets and enjoy the festival by singing and dancing.
Though the women fast throughout the day – refusing to take even a drop of water – Teej brings smiles on the faces of women in the cities and villages.
It is a rare opportunity for many married women in Nepali village to go to their mother’s home due to busy schedules in village farm works. The parents invite their daughters or send someone to bring their daughters to their home a day or two before the festival. There they contribute of the ritual food called dar before going on a fast on Teej. Interestingly, no daughter goes to her mother’s place during this festival unless they get an invitation from her parents or brothers. In case they do not get an invitation from their parents, they feel extremely sad – they say it is the saddest moment in their life.