“A nation’s culture resides in the heart and soul of the people”
Teej is the most famous festival among Hindu women in Nepal. In simple terms Teej is the fasting festival done by Hindu women which from historic point of view symbolizes the reunion of Shiva and his wife Parvati. Therefore it has become a very integral part of Hindu woman in Nepal. Generally it takes place in August or early September therefore it also celebrates the arrival of monsoon after a season of oppressive heat. The festival is a three-day long celebration that combines sumptuous feasts as well as rigid fasting. Through this religious fasting Hindu women pray for marital bliss, well being of their spouse, children and purification of their own body and soul.
Teej is a religious, social and cultural festival in Nepal in which the married women visit their parent’s home and celebrate Teej with her mother, sisters and friends. Married women take a full day fast for their husband’s wellness. Unmarried women and girls also take fast on Teej and pray to get a good and worthy husband. Modern women take fruits and liquid in the evening after their puja (worship) while some women live without any food and drops of water for 24- hours on this day. As women worship Lord Shiva on Teej, the colorful women fully decorated with ornaments and bangles gather at the Shiva Temples. The Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu is highly visited by Hindu women in Teej where they worship Pashupatinath (Shiva) and perform Teej Dance. Teej Puja also takes place at home. So some women carry out puja both at the temple and at home. Beside its religious meaning Teej is a cultural festival in which women dance and sing songs at home, temples and nearby public places.
Lately Teej has also become quite popular among International tourists. It now attracts people from all around the world not just from Nepal and India. Teej is well known by tourists not just for its extreme fasting done by Hindu women, but also for the cheerful singing and dancing of the women wearing red colorful saris, bangles and red, green & yellow beads. This festival is also growing as fashion. The teej songs are mostly the painful story of women in her day-to-day life also spreading in romantic songs as well the women’s right. So Teej has become a very festive moment for any tourists who come to be a part of this huge celebration.
During these celebrations Pashupatinath Temple can be the central attractions for any tourist as on the second day of the festival, the whole area is filled with red saris and a large party like gathering is observable. Tourists can see group of small stands and vendors selling food and flowers for women to use as offerings while praying. The sight of large amount of people sitting around the entrance and main gathering area outside of the temple gates asking for food and money is common during this day. Tourists (only women) can also be a part of the celebration by joining the group of women to dance and sing along them. It’s what Teej is all about. The joy of sisterhood and the presence of women unity during the Teej festival show how much this festival means to those women celebrating it.
Teej is a major festival in Nepal so it won’t be exaggerating to say that tourists who plan to visit Nepal should also consider making time to witness this eye-raising festival. To be honest if anyone visits Nepal during the occurrence of this festival they should without a doubt just go and be a part of this immense celebration. And if we go back in time we can easily see that “Teej” festival is deeply rooted in our history so our society has already accepted it as a vital part of the Nepalese culture and traditions.
Our tradition and culture define who we are as a nation. And Teej really is a core example which defines the power of unity among the women all over the country in a more new /modern way. After all every Nepalese knows that it’s a major festival which simply cannot be unseen by the outside world.