Haritalika Teej

Women enjoying and dancing on their feet at Pashupatinath Temple on the occasion of Teej

Teej, the main festival for all the women around Nepal is three-day festival that is celebrated in the month of Bhadra. On this occasion, all the women dress up in red saree, red tika, and jewels all around their bodies. All the women sing and dance along to traditional folk songs for several days. This festival is particularly important for married women and is celebrated specially by the women who are married. They are given a special invitation to attend their mother’s home feast basically known as “Dar Khane Din”.  After celebrating the “Dar” feast, the very next day, women keep 24 hour-long fastings, most of them do not even drink water or even eat food. During the time of the Teej, although they don’t eat or drink anything, it is very captivating to see women of all age group, dancing for hours in the heat and rain and celebrating the festival with full of joy.

Women from around the Kathmandu as well as from other places gather around at Pashupatinath temple where they worship Lord Shiva. They dance their heart out on this very special day with their friends and families. This festival is significant to all the married women as it is believed that if the women participate in fasting for 24 hours on this particular day, their husbands will have a good, joyous and long life. They enjoy every moment with their families and also go to their relative’s house to celebrate it merrily. The women pray for special blessings from Lord Shiva to have a long, cheerful, and prosperous life for their husbands. On the final day of the festival,  women offer money, food, and several other offerings to Lord Shiva and bathe with red mud and brush their teeth with Datiwan which is essentially the branches of a bush tree, hoping and praying that this will purify their body and soul if they have done any sins in their life.