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23. 09. 2017
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TEEJ

Teej, purely a festival of girls and ladies is sacred to the goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. It was on this auspicious day that Parvati was reunited with Shiva after a long separation. She declared this day sacred and auspicious and said whosoever invoked her would possess whatever they desired.

It is annually celebrated in most parts of India, and especially in the state of Rajasthan, on the third day of the bright fortnight of the month of Shrawan. Gay processions bearing images of Parvati are taken out escorted by caparisoned elephants, camels and horses, as the bride Parvati leaves her parent's home for her husband. Before taking out procession, the goddess is ceremonially worshipped and prayed.

On the occasion of Teej, Dandia dances are also performed by the young girls of the house who dress up in colourful 'saris', iehangas' and 'Chunris'. Basically Teej is a festival of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and as such the tie and-dye chunris in green, red, and yellow with its 'zari' and 'gota' along with green, yellow and red bangles becomes a feast for the eyes. The colourful 'dandas' moving in rhythmic beats, with each swing of the hands and feet, hitting either at the 'dandas' held in the other hand, or at the one held by the other dancers really appear spell-binding.

On Teej, it is a must for the girls to receive clothes from their parents. A set of heavy clothes for the first year after marriage is given and then the gifts would depend upon the economic status of the family.

The system of giving new clothes on all occasion to a daughter (and her children) was in lieu of her right to the family property and money which was earlier denied by the law, but was socially incumbent in the form of her right to get clothes and jewelry on festival and other occasions.

Swings are hung on the trees and in the houses, where the maidens and women amuse themselves by swinging. They wear gay apparels in red, green and gold, and paint their hands and feet in delicate designs with henna, and sing gay songs in praise of the goddess and the monsoon. Thus, it also welcomes the monsoon. Fairs are held on this occasion and people enjoy themselves to their full.

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