Teej festival, Jaipur India Tour ( July - August )
A festival celebrating the reunion of Shiva & Parvati, Teej celebrated on the third day of the moonlight fortnight of the Hindu Month of Shravan marks the advent of the monsoons. On this day swings are hung from trees and are decorated with flowers.
Young girls and women colorfully attired, swing on them and sing songs in praise in celebration of the monsoon and the Goddess. On Teej, both unmarried and married girls keep fast in the name of Goddess Parvati. While unmarried girls fast with ythe hope of getting a good husband, married women invoke Goddess Parvati’s blessings for marital bliss.
Essentially a festival for the daughters of the house, on this day, girls pamper and enjoy themselves a lot. They decorate their hands with henna and are dressed in their best dresses and jewelry.
On Teej, it is a must for girls, both married and unmarried to receive gifts and clothes from their near and dear ones. The gifts usually comprise of heavy clothes, eatables, dry fruits, bangles, which is collectively called as ‘baya’. Girls engaged to be married also receive gifts from their future in-laws a day before the festival. The gift, called Shrinjhara derived from the word shringar (adornment), consists of henna, lac bangles, a special dress of laheria (tie and dye fabric) and a sweet called ghewar.
In Rajasthan, three kinds of Teej are celebrated:-the Haryali Teej, where the moon is prayed to; Kajari Teej: in which women gather together to sing songs and perform pooja and; the Hartalika Teej: where they fast for 3 days without any water. Teej holds a special place in the heart of the people of Jaipur and seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness worship goddess Parvati. An elaborate procession is taken out for two consecutive days with ornately dressed elephants, horses & camels, bands, performing artists & colorfully dressed people.
Though, the festival of Teej is more famous amongst the people of Rajasthan , people of Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh also consider this festival an auspicious one and celebrate it with much gay and abandon.