Teej is the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). The monsoon rains fall on the parched land and the pleasing scent of the wet soil rises into the air. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon.
This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati is worshipped by seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness. An elaborate procession is taken out in Jaipur for two consecutive days on the festive occasion which is watched by people in large numbers. The Teej idol is covered with a canopy whereas the Gangaur idol is open.
Teej Festival Celebrated:
Women dress up in their finest clothes and jewelry to worship the Goddess Parvati. They also get their hands decorated with henna, accompanied by the singing of special Teej festival songs. Swings are fixed to branches of large trees, and the women take turns to joyfully swing on them.
In Jaipur, a spectacular royal procession featuring an idol of the Goddess Parvati (Teej Mata), winds its way through the lanes of the Old City. It comprises antique palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, chariots, decorated elephants, horses, camels, brass bands, and dancers. A bit of everything really!
Importance of Teej Festival
Teej festival is an important festival. Two very vital factors govern its celebration. One is that it is a monsoon festival and the other relates to the most popular legend of Shiva-Parvati.
Legends of Teej
According to Hindu mythology, in the month of Shravan, Goddess Parvati reunited with Lord Shiva after a penance of hundred years. In her 108th birth, Lord Shiva realized her devotion for him and accepted her as his wife. This legend is said to be the basis of Teej celebrations.
Teej Festival heralds the beginning of monsoon season. It is celebrated in the month of Shravan which brings a great relief from the scorching heat of summers. Teej has special importance in the state of Rajasthan as it is celebrated in the rainy season which transforms the dry-parched lands of Rajasthan totally green. Teej becomes more auspicious and special if it rains on this day. With the arrival of monsoon, peacocks come out to dance while women enjoy themselves by swinging and dancing in the rain.