When: 22nd July 2012|
Teej is a time for celebration all over the colourful state of Rajasthan - women and young girls dress in green, swings or 'jhoolas' are hung from trees and decorated with flowers, the women sing and dance in gay abandon, heralding the advent of the rains gods.
An important festival in Rajasthan, Teej is also a day for rejoicing in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar. Teej celebrates the arrival of the monsoon- a cause for celebration, indeed- and is appropriately observed by the donning of green clothing which symbolises the verdure of rain-fed fields. Teej is traditionally celebrated by women, who go their parents' home for the festival. New clothes, usually gifted by the woman's parents, are worn, and women gather together to fast and to offer prayers to the goddess Parvati, whose devotion to her husband, Shiva, is considered exemplary. On Teej, an idol of the goddess, bedecked in red and gold clothing, is taken in a procession, accompanied by chanting and hymns.
But Teej is not just a religious festival; it also is a time to celebrate the coming of the rains- a time for renewal and rejuvenation. Teej 'melas' or fairs are fixtures at villages and towns, where thousands come to eat, drink, buy, sell, and generally enjoy themselves. The celebrations include music and folk dances, as well as the hanging of swings from trees, where groups of women and girls gather to swing.