Haritalika Teej being observed with fervour today

Kathmandu, September 3

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has extended greetings on the occasion of Haritalika Teej to ‘all Nepali sisters living at home and abroad’. Nepali Hindu devotees will celebrate the festival by fasting all day and worshiping Lord Shiva on Sunday.

In her message, President Bhandari said, “I wish all Nepali sisters living in the country and abroad happiness, peace, prosperity, and family harmony on this auspicious occasion which has remained as a symbol of cultural tolerance and social unity in Nepal since time immemorial.”

She also urged Nepali women to maintain religious and cultural identity of Teej. On the occasion, Hindu women observe rigid fast all day and worship Lord Shiva wishing for the longevity of their husbands, while unmarried women pray to the deity for an ideal groom. Women clad in red saris, bangles, henna and ornaments throng Shiva temples, especially Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, to offer prayers.

Teej falls on the third day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the month of Bhadra. Women celebrate the festival by fasting, singing, dancing and offering prayers to Lord Shiva. The festival also marks the union of Shiva and Parbati.

The festival is a three-day-long celebration, which combines gatherings‚ singing‚ dancing, eating dar and rigid fasting. The first day of Teej is called dar khane din. On this day, women eat delicious and heavy food items before midnight.

The second day is the fasting day or the main day of Teej. Women spend the day without a morsel of food and some even a drop of water. The third day of the festival is Rishi Panchami. Women pay homage to seven saints or sages and offer prayers to various deities and bathe with red mud found on the roots of the sacred datiwan twig, along with its leaves. This act of purification is the final ritual of Teej.