KATHMANDU: Nepali women across the nation, Hindus in particular, on Sunday are celebrating the Teej festival, which holds religious and social significance for them.Teej is the fasting festival of women in Nepal. It falls in the month of August or early September.
The devotees throng Shiva temples and worship Lord Shiva, praying for longevity, happiness and prosperity of their husbands.For unmarried girls also observe fast on this day for a good husband.
Thousands of women, mostly clad in red sarees, visited the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu and Lord Shiva Temples in other cities to mark the occasion today.
Teej celebrations lasts for three pious days. Traditional dances and songs form an important feature of Teej celebrations. Red color is considered auspicious for women observing Teej fast and so most of them dress up in red or bridal clothes.Teej is an annual festival of Nepali women. The festival is celebrated with ulmost dedication and love by the women in Nepal. Preparations for the festival begin well in advance. Fabric stores, sarees and suit outlets are stocked with the bridal red color fabric.
Women spend most of the time shopping when Teej is near.Teej festival celebrations are carried further with sumptuous feasts and traditional performances. On this day, women dress up beautifully. They clad themselves in red colored apparels, wear glass bangles, heavy ornaments and apply henna. Teej gives women an opportunity to dress like the newly wed. They worship the epitome of divine marriage – Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, for longevity and prosperity for their husband and family.
Three Days of Teej. First day is called ‘Dar Khane Din’, the day to make merry. Second day is a ‘fasting day’ The third day is called ‘Rishi Panchami’ in Nepal which is a day to perform Teej Puja. The third day of the Teej Festival is called Rishi Panchami. On this day, the seven sages of the Hindu pantheon are worshiped by women in a belief that it will cleanse all sins of the previous year. Womenfolk take a holy bath with red mud found on the roots of the sacred Datiwan bush, along with its leaves. After three hours of rigorous cleansing, they come out purified and absolved from all sins. After this they sit in a semicircle while a priest sitting in the middle chants devotional prayers.