September 22, 2021, Wednesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

TEEJ, THE FESTIVAL OF WOMEN

The Nepal Weekly
September 7, 2021

Teej is a women-only festival that holds special significance for Hindu women in Nepal. The three-day festival is observed with great devotion and enjoyment as women in red and green dance and sing to folk songs, join feasts, and keep rigid fasts. Decked up in red sarees and red tika, bangles, women sing and dance to traditional folk songs for days. It is specially significant for married women, when they get a special invitation to visit their maternal home and feast.

During the festival, women offer prayers to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati for the longevity and well-being of one’s spouse and children. Similarly they wish for the purification of one’s body and soul as well.

The festival is celebrated according to Lunar calendar which normally falls in the month of August or September. This year the main festival will take place on Friday September 09, 2021.

Teej is a festival celebrated by women all over Nepal for three days. Following a long feast also known as Dar, the women, sit for a 24 hour long fasting, where most do not eat or even drink water. What is fascinating is to watch women of all age group, young and old, dance for hours in the heat, rain, without a drop of water or food for an entire day.

It is a sight to behold at the Pashupatinath temple, where thousands of women draped in Red and green throng the premises of the temple. Observers can take photos of these women dancing merrily, where sometimes foreigners, especially women tourists are requested to participate in the merry-making.

The significance of such a festival is for women to ask for special blessings by Lord Shiva, to have attain a good husband in life, and to pray for his longevity and prosperity.

On the final day of this three day festival women satisfy seven saints offering them food, money and various offerings, and also bathing with Red mud and brushing their teeth with Datiwan (branches of a bush tree) hoping this purifies their body and soul. The widows and single women also take part in the Teej without discriminations. Women support institutions and organisations coordinate the festivals to be equally accessible to all Hindu women to participate.

The widows and single women also take part in the Teej without discriminations. Women support institutions and organisations coordinate the festivals to be equally accessible to all Hindu women to participate.