Friday, 26 August 2011

Haritalika Teej: Religious way to show love for your husband

Haritalika Teej occurs amorphously in my memory as a festival observed by my mom and my grand mom from my early childhood days. In childhood it was quite fun seeing mom getting ready for pooja and preparing delightful goodies cooked for the occasion, long evening prayers and loads of prasad sent by friends and relatives the next morning.

When I got married, I decided to continue this tradition. The festival of Hartalika Teej is observed in the month of Bhadrapada or Bhaadra month. This fast is observed for the longevity of the married life. It is chiefly observed by married ladies.
Ladies observing Haritalika Teej should wake up early in the morning. Tamsik food should not be eaten, in the evening, just before the day of fast. After completing routine work like bathing, the resolution of fast is taken. And, lord Shankar and Mata Parvati are worshiped. no water is drunk, on the day of fast. Goddess is worshipped with incense sticks, lamps and flowers. At the end, story of the fast is heard. And, blessings are taken from the elders of the house.

Legends behind Teej
Teej is a major festival of women celebrated every year in the month of July-August. Women show their devotion towards their husband or to-be-husbands. They adorn themselves with clothes and jewelry and pray for long life of their husband. Though Teej celebrates the advent of monsoon but one of the popular legend of Goddess Parvati led to the celebration of Teej.

In our fast paced, busy lives Teej may not hold much significance, but when looked at from the perspective of women living in villages and those in ancient times who had no means of recreation, no respite from mundane household chores, Teej indeed came as a whiff of fresh breeze. Who would mind getting gifts of clothes and jewellery, opportunity of visiting friends and family and observing a fast that brought them closer to their spouse? After all they performed such a severe penance for the long lives of their husbands!

In our times women visit beauty clinics and rejuvenating spas whenever they wish to, but in those days getting decked up for no reason raised the eyebrows of the entire household. Teej gave them an opportunity to don their best attires and feel good about themselves.


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