KATHMANDU: The greatest festival of Hindu women, Teej, is being celebrated nationwide on Tuesday.
The festival, which generally falls at the end of August or early September, is a three-day celebration that started yesterday with an extravagant feast known as Dar.
Today is ‘fasting day,’ –where hundreds of thousands of Hindu women fast for an entire day even without drinking water for marital bliss and flock to temples of Lord Shiva praying for the prosperity and longevity of their husbands, and children.
According to the Hindu mythology, this festival is celebrated to commemorate the day when Parvati was united with Lord Shiva after a penance of a hundred years.
Today, Hindu women on red attire with gold jewelries are thronging Pashupatinath singing and taking a series of rhythmical steps to the tunes of folk devotional songs.
The third consecutive day is ‘Rishi Panchami’ which is a day to perform the Teej Puja.
The four doors of the Pashupatinath Temple are open from 3:30 am till 8 pm for the devotees to pay homage to Lord Shiva on this day.
Women worship the Linga, the phallic symbol of Shiva, offering flowers, sweets and coins at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. More than 300,000 women throng the Pashupatinath Temple on Teej every year.The government has declared public holiday on Teej.
The devotees can stand in any of three queues to reach the temple while a fourth line is for those paying for tickets, special worshipers, volunteers, security forces and PADT employees. Other regular devotees have visited the temple before 6 am. The devotees can buy tickets for Rs 1,000 if they do not want to stand in long queues,” said Umesh Kuinkel, coordinator of the Publicity Management Committee.
The PADT has made provisions for 13 health camps. “About 2,500 security personnel and some 3,500 volunteers have been deployed to take care of the devotees,” said Sushil Nahata, member secretary of the PADT.
“Altogether 18 CCTV cameras will be installed to monitor the festival.”