Teej : Hartalika Vrat

Teej strengthens the tie between prakriti and purush-mind and matter-Shiva and Shakti-husband and wife.

'Teej Vrat katha' , booklet is available here

‘Teej Vrat katha’ , booklet is available here

There is a saying uttered by locals,”Saat waar nau tyohaar”-in seven days Varanasi witnesses nine festivals. Almost every day a festival is celebrated in Varanasi. Celebrations continue nonstop traditionally with enthusiasm. While living in Kashi the meaning of this proverb ” Har raat nai ek shadi hai , har roz mubarakvadi hai ” can be understood .

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Enjoying shopping & bargaining

Hartalika is the one of the important festivals for women. A married woman wishes for the welbeing and long life of her husband fasting for 36 hours without a drop of water. This fasting is known Nirjala Vrat or fasting without water. The sacred day of Teej falls on third day of the second fort night ( Shukla Paksha ) of Bhadra Pad (6th month of lunar calendar, this year on 02.09.08).

The women worship Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati. According to a myth Parvati accepted Shiva as her husband . It was one sided. Her marriage was arranged somewhere else by her father .She wished Shiva as her husband. She became angry and left her house with her friends for the forest. She did penance over there and started worshiping Lord Shiva. Ultimately Shiva accepted Parvati as his spouse (Ardhangini).

Ladies buying bangles on the eve of teej

Ladies buying bangles on the eve of Teej

On this occasion, the husband brings ornaments, colorful sarees, bangles and cosmetics as gifts. Ladies adorn themselves with these presents.

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Buying figures of divinity

These women buy clay images of Shiva and Parvati traditionally moulded by local potters. Many delicious sweet-meats like ‘Gujiya’ are prepared on the day of pooja.Ladies believe that Shiva and Parvati will come to their homes and accept their offerings. Next morning they eat Prasad (offerings).

Some families invite learned Brahmins to tell the mythological stories.Brahmins are given food and donations.

Undoubtedly, this cultural capital Varanasi preserves the tradition of Hindus and conveys the messages of love , affection and unity to humanity.

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