Sep 7, 2018-
This year Teej falls on September 12. Teej is a festival celebrated by Hindu women across the world. After the month of Shrawan, the monsoon season of Bhadra sees a major Hindu festival worshipping Lord Shiva. There is a story behind the auspicious celebration of Teej. According to legend, Goddess Parvati was betrothed to Lord Vishnu as per the suggestion of Narada. But Goddess Parvati had dedicated herself to Lord Shiva. When she heard that her hand had been promised in marriage to Lord Vishnu, she escaped to a forest and began praying and worshipping Lord Shiva. Her persistent dedication earned Lord Shiva’s approval who agreed to marry her. At the end, Goddess Parvati was married to Lord Shiva. This union of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati is celebrated as Hari Talika Teej.
Teej is a three-day festival. The first day of Teej is the day of Dar on which women feast lavishly on rich delicacies and cuisines. Celebrations last until midnight after which a 24-hour fast commences. On the main day of Teej, women fast and pray. After the 24-hour observance on Teej, girls and women break the fast on the third day following a puja.
Teej is celebrated by both married and unmarried women across all ages. Unmarried women and girls fast during Teej in the hope of getting a suitable husband. Married women fast during Teej for the health, longevity and prosperity of their husband. It is a tradition among married women to visit their maternal homes to celebrate Teej. During Teej, women adorned in red saris and gold jewellery sing, dance and pray for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Women gather in groups at homes and temples to celebrate the union of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati.
However, Teej is also tainted with extravagance and garish celebrations. Then there are women who fast too strictly during Teej by completely forsaking water. It is a good thing to keep up the tradition and fast for a happy married life, but women mustn’t consider the severity of the observance as a competition. Teej is best celebrated with goodwill and faith. In the end, what matters is our dedication to our faith and beliefs and respect for tradition. It is not necessary to take extreme measures to please Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Let us not tarnish this festival with extravagant celebrations and extreme observance.
I have been fasting during Teej most of my life, mostly out of respect for the festival. I think it is a holy festival for women because the sanctity of marriage is evident to all women. Marriage is a sacred union, and the festival of Teej celebrates its good faith. Let us celebrate Teej with respect to womanhood, the sanctity of marriage and Hindu tradition. Happy Teej!
Published: 07-09-2018 07:56