Teej the Monsoon Festival in Nepal
Teej is a monsoon festival that is celebrated by women in Nepal and few parts of India. This festival is celebrated by women dressed in red and decorating themselves with heavy gold ornament, dancing and doing prayer rituals to pay homage to Hindu goddess Parvati and her reunion with lord Shiva.
This festival is celebrated on the 3rd day of the full moon day in the Nepalese month of Bhadra, which falls in August or September of the English calendar. This day in Nepal is dedicated to women. On this day women fast and some without even drinking a drop of water and eating a morsel. The day begins by dressing up in red and as in traditional Nepalese wedding, wearing bangles, heavy gold ornaments and visiting temples housing the statue and linga of Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The fasting women after the sunset do rituals and listen to prayers of how goddess Parvati got married to Lord Shiva despite all the odds. The fast is broken next morning by paying homage to the sun. Women dressed in red attire flock to the Shiva temples all over the country and Pashupatinath in Kathmandu. It is some site to watch as women dance, sing hymns while they wait for their turn to enter the temple where as they pay homage to the Lord Shiva by burning Ghee soaked wigs, burning incents and ringing the bell.
The entire purpose of a married women as per the Hindu mythology is to pray to the god for prolonged life of husband and family and the purpose of an unmarried girl fasting is to pray to god to help her find a husband like the lord himself. This could be one of the reasons why women worship their husbands as the deity himself and eat only after worshipping him at the end of the day. Overall, Teej is a significant festival celebrated overwhelmingly in Nepal. The modern day teej has somehow been more flexible and liberal understanding the health concerns of women fasting as well as for ongoing debate on religious fallacies but nevertheless, it still is some site to watch if you are in Nepal at this time of the year. Come to Nepal and explore unique culture and festivals!