Teej is one of the greatest festivals of Nepali women. It is celebrated throughout the country in the month of September. On this occasion, women take a long day fasting for marital happiness, well being of spouse and children and purification of one’s own body and soul. Teej is a small red insect that comes out of the soil during the rainy season. It is believed that Teej got its name from the same red insect. That is why Teej is celebrated in red. During this festival, women dress themselves in red outfits and jewelry.
Teej is traditionally dedicated to goddess Parvati, remembering her union with Lord Shiva. It is a three day long celebration that combines splendid feasting as well as rigid fasting. The first day is the eve which is also called Dar khane din. On this day, a grand feast is organized with varieties of food. The second day is the main day of Teej that is the fasting day when they sing and dance, visit nearby Lord Shiva’s temple and worship him with flowers and colors. The third day is the Rishi Panchami which is considered as the final ritual of Teej. On this day women take a bath with red mud and Datiwan leaves and pay homage to the gods and goddesses.
On 27th August, a Teej celebration program was organized at our Activity Centre for our women from Women Literacy Project. We prepared and served delicious food for the women who were all dressed in red outfits. During the program, the women danced, sang songs and enjoyed their meals together.