Today is August 21 and the Nepali month of Bhadra. This day in Nepal is being celebrated as Haritalika Teej or Women’s festival, specially among the Hindu women today. The Teej is celebrated for three consecutive days.
The women decorate and beautify themselves in red saris, red tika and green, red bangles and dance to the tune of folk songs and the women folk gather around the dancing women to watch the dance and sing the chorus.
The festival is significant for the married women as they can visit their maternal houses to feast on this occasion. The married women on this occasion pray to Lord Shiva the Hindu God for long life of their husbands and prosperity of the family.
Unmarried girls also pray to Lord Shiva to bless them with good husband and a prosperous life. The women go for long fasting known as Dar during which they don’t eat anything and even do not drink water.
In Kathmandu valley, the main center of Haritalika Teej is around Pashupatinath. Tourists also enjoy the dance of women during this time. But this time the women cannot dance and eat in big groups in public places due to spreading spree of the Coronavirus in the country.
The government has appealed to the public to celebrate this festival in individual families separately. On the last day, the women dip themselves in water to purify their body and soul and offer food and money to the saints.
Legend behind the origin of Teej
It is said once the Himalayan King wanted to get her daughter Parvati married to Vishnu. But Parvati secretly ran away and hid herself behind the rocks in the jungles and prayed for Lord Shiva whom she venerated and loved very deeply.
Upon hearing this, Lord Shiva disguised himself as rich lord Vishnu and appeared before Parvati to seduce her. But Parvati was not at all moved. At last lord Shiva appeased by the devotion of Parvati showed his real appearance and married Parvati. So, at last Parvati was reunited with Lord Shiva in marriage.
The day when Parvati was reunited with her husband Lord Shiva was celebrated as festival and merry making occasion among her friends who had helped her to reunite with her husband. So, this day started to be celebrated as Haritalika Teej among women.
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