Beautiful, vibrant lehriyas, floral decorations, delectable festive sweets and Indian delicacies such as ghewar and churma. Swings on trees, decorated with bright festive details, gifts and young boys flying kites… These few details are the most prominent from among the fascinating proceeding over the festivals of Teej. The festivals of ‘Teej’ mark the bringing in of the monsoon season with rituals and traditions that date back to centuries. Celebrated in Northern and Western India, there are three kinds of Teej festivals, Hariyali Teej, Kajari Teej and Hartalika Teej. The women traditionally observe and celebrate these festivals on the the third day of the Indian month of Shravan and also on the third days of the waning and waxing moon of the Indian month of Bhadrapud. Dedicated to Goddess Parvati, this festival involves women applying henna, wearing red, green or yellow clothes, cooking and exchanging festive foods and taking in the beauty of nature, to mark the celebrations.
Celebrated to mark the Reunion and acceptance on part of Lord Shiva of Goddess Parvati as his wife, Hariyali Teej is celebrated on the third day of the bright half of the North Indian Lunar month of Shrawan. The colorful and traditional event is celebrated mainly in Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh and Punjab.
The Kajri Teej is also known as the Badi Teej or Burhi Teej and is celebrated on the third day of the dark fortnight of Bhadrapada. The women worship Lord Shiva and sing folk songs known kajris. Women pray to neem trees and and the central influences on the kajris revolves around the married women pinning and singing for the arrival of their brothers to take them home for the seasonal festivals prolonged festivities.
What can be considered as the most important of the three festivals, this Teej festival marks the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, after the God accepts the devi as his wife.
History, tradition and folk-lore go hand in hand when it comes to most Indian Festivals and Teej is just another colorful marker of that wonderful fact.