The moon’s cycle determines when Teej is celebrated each year. The festival is celebrated in July or August annually, in India’s monsoon season. The festival is celebrated in numerous states, primarily in central and northern regions of the country – though only in Haryana is it an official public holiday. It’s celebrated in states such as Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital city, is home to some of Teej’s most well-known festivities.
Teej represents the ties between wife Parvati and husband Shiva. The festival commemorates Parvati’s unwavering dedication to her husband. When Indian women look for her blessings during Teej, they do so as a means of achieving a strong marriage — and quality husband. Not only does Teej center around a strong marriage, but it also focuses on the happiness and health of children.
The name “Teej” is thought to be a reference to a tiny red insect that comes out from the ground during monsoon season. Hindu myths believe that when that happened, Parvati visited Shiva’s residence. This sealed their connection as man and woman.
During Teej, women put on their best accessories and attire. They also often get henna or mehendi decorations on their hands. They sing many songs that are associated with the festival. They swing on swings that are fastened to big tree branches. They experience a combination of fasting and lavish, sumptuous feasts, too. Dancing is yet another typical Teej activity.
Not only does Teej focus on marriage and family ties, but it also focuses on the monsoons. Monsoons give the people welcome rest from the intense heat of the summer months.