Teej (Haritalika Teej) is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Hindu women all over the country. During this festival, Lord Shiva is worshipped. Women folks dressed in red Sari gather in Shiva temples and dance and sing to celebrate the festival. It is also celebrated in some provinces of India as well.
It is written in the Hindu holy scripture that, for the first time Lord Shiva’s would-be wife, goddess Parvati took fasting for attaining Shiva as her husband and good health of Shiva. Since then, the Hindu women folks have started taking fast, worshipping and celebrating Teej so that their husbands will have a healthy and long life. Unmarried women believe that by taking this fast they would find a suitable bridegroom.
The festival is celebrated for three days. The first day is called DAR Khane (feasting) din. It is very significant for married women when they get a special invitation to visit their maternal home and feast.
After a long feast, the women, take 24 hours long fasting, where most do not eat or even drink water. What is fascinating is to watch women of all age groups, young and old, dance for hours in the heat, rain, without a drop of water or food for an entire day.
The significance of such a festival is for women to ask for special blessings from Lord Shiva, to have/ attain a good husband in life, and to pray for his longevity and prosperity.
On the final day, Women satisfy seven saints offering them food, money and various offerings, and also bathing and brushing their teeth with Datiwan (branches of a bush tree) hoping this purifies their body and soul.
Every year Volunteer Society Nepal also organizes TEEJ for women who are involved in Women Training Center run by Volunteer Society Nepal.