Hindu ladies in Nepal celebrate the festival of Hartalika Teej. They celebrate it in the remembrance of the “marriage of the god Shiva to the Hindu goddess Hartalika”. The “Teej” is part of the name from a word alluding to the red teej bug, which is the reason why wearing and displaying red color is customary on this day.
Nepali ladies throughout the country celebrate the Teej festival in the month of August. Decked up in red saree and red tika, bangles, ladies sing and dance singing traditional folk songs for quite a long time. Teej is exceptionally important for married women when they get a special invitation to visit their maternal home and banquet.
Dar in Teej
The ladies enjoy a long feast, called “Dar” just before the night of the main festival. During the main festival Teej, the ladies take a fast for 24 hours. Some ladies take the fast so seriously that they don’t even drink water. The most fascinating thing to observe is the ladies of all age groups, old and young, dance for hours. And they ignore the heat, rain, that also without a single drop of water or food for the whole day.
It is an incredible sight at the Pashupatinath temple, where a large number of ladies draped in Red and Green crowd the premises of the temple. Spectators can take photographs of these ladies dancing joyfully. Also sometimes foreigners, particularly ladies tourists are requested to participate in the joyful environment.
The importance of such a festival is for ladies to request exceptional blessing by Lord Shiva, to have obtained a decent husband in life. They also pray to God for their husband’s longevity and prosperity.
On the last day of this three-day celebration, Women satisfy seven saints offering them food, cash, and different contributions, and furthermore washing with Red mud and brushing their teeth with Datiwan (branches of a bush tree) trusting this purifies their body and soul.