Teej is a four-day-long festival in Nepal and each day has its own significance.
- First day is called ‘Dar Khane Din’, the day to make merry.
- The Second day is a ‘fasting day’.
- The third day is purification day
- The fourth day is ‘Rishi Panchami’
Dar Khane Din
The first day of Teej is called the “Dar Khane Din”. On this day, women don their finest attire and gather in one place to enjoy the day. Most women wear red saris or dark pink saris with lots of pote , chura and gold jewelleries. Some even apply henna on their hands. They sing, dance and enjoy a grand feast. The fun often goes on till midnight, after which the 24-hour fast begins.
In Sydney, all of us make one dish each and gather in one house. We enjoy music, dance and then have dinner. Even though most of us don’t fast, it is one of the days when we can wear a sari with jewellery and have fun with friends. I really enjoy this day.
The photos are from last year’s Dar Khane din.
The second day of Teej is the fasting day. Most of the women don’t eat anything and don’t even drink any water for a whole day while others take liquids and fruit and pray for the long life for their husband.
This is a very important day as this is the day when women fast and dedicated whole day in pujas and prayers. The holy Pashupatinath temple is the most visited Hindu temple in Nepal during this day and there are be thousands of women in red saris to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
They gather and offer puja to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati with flowers, sweets and coins. Lighting of an oil lamp is very important part of the puja ceremony. It is said that the oil lamp should be kept lit all night to forestall evil.
They also have a good time singing and dancing around the temple. Here are some videos.
In Sydney, we go to Minto Hindu temple and offer our puja. I was really surprised to see so many women in the temple like in Nepal wearing red saris and performing puja. I don’t fast so after puja I will eat but my friends who fast will continue the fast for the whole day.
Women get up at dawn and bathe and perform puja once again to the diyo (oil lamp) and the Goddess Parvati. The most important part of this puja is a banana and holy basil (Tulsi patta) leaf. Only after this puja, women take solid food. This third day of Teej is Ganesh Chaturthi. Women eat Karkalo ko Tarkari with chokho (pure) food made with pure ghee.
The fourth 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. This act of purification is the final ritual of Teej, after which women are considered absolved from all sins.
Happy Teej everyone!!!