(The article was originally published on 26 June 2017 and is being republished from The Quint’s archives in lieu of the Hindu festival of Hariyali Teej, being celebrated across northern and western India on 3 August 2019.)
Teej is a Hindu festival celebrated across northern and western India in which women sing, dance and perform other prayer rituals to welcome the monsoon season. The festival is dedicated to the union of Goddess Parvati with Lord Shiva.
Women worship Goddess Parvati to seek her blessings for a happy married life and for the wellness of their family.
Teej is mostly celebrated in Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.
Women dress up in their finest clothes and jewellery and get their hands decorated with henna. They get swings fixed to large trees and take turns to swing on them.
History Behind it
It is widely believed that Teej gets its name from a small red insect called ‘Teej’ that pops up during the monsoons. This is also the day that Goddess Parvati came to Shiva’s abode, according to popular Hindu mythology.
The festival, therefore, celebrates the union of husband and wife, with many women fasting on this day.
According to myths, Parvati carried out a rigorous fast for 108 years to prove her love and devotion for Shiva before he accepted her as his wife.
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