Held during the monsoon season, the festival of Teej is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati. The festival is primarily celebrated by married women who pray for a happy and long married life. Though celebrations are held all over the state, it is especially colorful in Jaipur where processions take place for two days through the Old City. The festivities revolve around singing and dancing in praise of Goddess Parvati. Beautifully decorated swings are hung from trees and women of all ages dress up beautifully, enjoy the swing rides, and sing songs. Young girls and women adorned in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon time. The rituals allow the women to pamper and enjoy themselves, to feast, to dress in the best clothes, fine jewelry - anything and everything to look stunningly beautiful. The Teej idol is covered with a canopy while the Gangaur idol is kept open.
Ladies and girls can be seen enjoying on these swings, playing games, singing folk songs, and applying mehndi (henna) on their palms. In Jaipur, an idol of Goddess Parvati is taken out in a royal procession from the city palace so that the general public can have a chance to pay homage to the goddess. Antique gilt palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, chariots, gaily decorated elephants with silver haodas, horses, camels, brass bands, and group of dancers can be witnessed in the festivities. These beautifully magnificent vistas form a part of the impressive demonstration. The palanquin of Goddess Paravati is carried by eight men dressed in red color through the lanes of the city covering about one kilometer. Local people flock in huge numbers, dressed in their best traditional attires. Since space is a constraint, people perch on top of buildings, windows, and even trees to catch a glimpse of the goddess. A huge band of urchins follows the palanquin to grab the offerings laid at the footsteps of the goddess.
The entire Teej procession is filled with loads of merriment which is evident from groups of men and women singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. Men and women dress as gods and goddesses to participate in the procession. As per Hindu mythology, on the 3rd day after the new moon in the month of Shravan, Goddess Parvati went to her husband, Lord Shiva's home, where she was united with him. This day is celebrated as Teej all across India, particularly in Rajasthan. Apart from its mythological origin, this festival also heralds the arrival of the rainy season. In the month of Shravan, the long awaited monsoon finally arrives in Rajasthan bringing relief to the parched land. Like a magic wand, the rains transform the hot, dusty, and barren summer landscapes of Rajasthan into fertile green beehive of activities. The Teej festivities are just a representation of the joy and happiness of the locals of Rajasthan for the onset of the monsoon season.
Teej festival holds immense importance for married women of Rajasthan. Learn about Teej Festival of Jaipur, India.
|Venue||Across Rajasthan, but celebrated with much fanfare in Jaipur|
|Time||Monsoon season (sawan)|
|How to Reach||Rajasthan can be reached by air, rail and road travel|
|Unique Attributes||Celebrated by married women for a happy married life; women enjoy the swing and wear beautiful traditional saris|