Marking the start of monsoons and happiness, this festival is celebrated with great joy and colorful customaries throughout northern India.
Jaipur in Rajasthan especially organizes a fair for tourists and people coming from all over country to get a glimpse of all the customs and traditions associated with it.
Women buy beautiful sarees and jewellary, apply mehndi, offer prayers to goddess Parvati and enjoy the monsoons with swings and songs. There are also processions running throughout many cities that become a means of dance and fun for children and other people.
On the occasion of Teej, Dandia dances are arranged by professionals and performed in courtyards at home and in public places.
The young girls of the house who dress up in colourful saris, lehangas and chunris, also perform these dances.
¤The colourful dandas (sticks) moving in rhythmic beats, with each swing of the hands and feet, hitting either at one s own danda held in the other hand, or at the one held by the other dancers, are really beautiful to watch.
Girls with Henna on their hands and feet run about joyously and are excused from household chores on this day. Special Mehndi motifs also called laheria and ghewar are applied to match the mood of Teej.
On Teej, it is a must for the girls to receive clothes from their parents. Gifts comprising of set of heavy clothes, eatables, dry fruits, bangles, which is called as baya, for the first year after marriage is given to the newly weds. Girls engaged to be married, receive gifts from their future in-laws a day before thefestival. The gift, called Shrinjhara derived from the word shringar (adornment), consists of henna, lac bangles, a special dress of laheria (tie and dye fabric) and a sweet called ghewar. The pooja is performed in the morning. The baya which consists of a variety of foodstuff is placed on a thaali (plate) at the place of worship where a chowk (square) has been decorated, an idol or a picture of Parvati is installed. The evenings are set aside for singing and dancing.
Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Young girls and women colourfully attired, swing on them and sing songs in praise of the goddess and the monsoon. The gracefully ornamented and colourfully dressedwomen celebrate the day adding fun and frolic to it through their local gatherings. The hands crafted with Henna add into the beauty of the ladies and a popular belief that goes with it is that the darker the Henna the more a man loves his woman.
The colours of the month of Sawan, lilting songs - specific to the festival, are sung to accompany the application of henna, creating an aura of romance. This atmosphere of Teej is celebrated with the fullest of life to make it the most memorable day of the year and for the reason it is the much awaitedfestival amongst the girls of India.
The tie-and-dye chunri in green, red, and yellow with its zari and gota along with green, yellow and red bangles, becomes a feast for the eyes.
The rituals allow one to pamper and enjoy themselves, to fast and feast, to dress the best with best of cloths, finery and jewellery. The festivities end with exchange of gifts and the arrivals of husbands to fetch their wives. The wives then leave then leave their parent’s home like Parvati.
Teej is one festival where women like to pamper and beautify themselves, and hence shopping becomes an integral part of all its preparation. Women shop for sarees, jewellary, cosmetics, footwears and other varieties of attractive accessories.