Haritalika Teej Women Festival in Nepal
Haritaalika Teej: Out of all the festivals followed by Hindus, Teej is considered special especially celebrated by ladies dedicated to Lord Shiva and his wife, Goddess Parvati. This Teej festival symbolizes the love and devotion of a wife towards her soul-mate/husband. Celebrated on the day of Bhadra Shukla Tritiya, females keep fasting and do worshipping of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Married women keep fast and pray for the prosperity, good health and long life of their husband while unmarried for having an ideal husband like Lord Shiva. There is the story of Goddess Parvati did meditation (Tapasya) for 108 years with the sole wish of having Lord Shiva as her husband and it was successful too. Since then it is believed whosoever will keep fast and remembers Goddess Parvati on this day, she will have her blessings of perfect happy married life.
On this day, women wear a red-colored dress like sarees, kurtas, colorful bangles, fascinating henna/mehndi designs on hand, pieces of jewelry especially gold as a newly-wed bride. They dance and sing songs with the theme of love of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The whole day is celebrated by dancing, singing, worshipping and chanting prayers. It is believed not to even drink a drop of water or eat the entire day. Hence, the day before Teej i.e. Dar Khane Din the women prepare varieties of delicacies like confectioneries as Besan Laddu, Barfi, kaju katli, sattu, etc. Also, many women visit their maternal home and gather to enjoy the festival. On the day of Teej, women go to the temples of Lord Shiva like Pashupatinath, Doleshwor Mahadev, Dattatreya, etc. to worship.
Teej festival is a tribute to the penance through which Goddess Parvati went. This day has its own significance among the women. They will light an oil lamp throughout the day. After fasting for the whole day without water and food, they will end their fast after the moon appears in the sky and get the blessings of her husband. The next day of Teej is celebrated by worshipping and offering prayers to the deity. So all in all, Teej festival is celebrated for 3 days; 1st day is Dar Khane din i.e. feast day, 2nd day is Fasting day and 3rd day is offering day. The dedication, devotion and love of a wife towards her husband are the main themes of this festival. It is celebrated in different ways in various parts of Nepal but the primary purpose is to have the blissful married life.
Author: Step On Himalaya
Date: 2nd September, 2019