Published on August 9, 2013
This festival is celebrated differently in different parts of India and Nepal.
Everywhere, Teej is a women's festival that is all about having a happy marriage, a healthy body, and happy, healthy children. Tradition tells us that it is the anniversary of the wedding of the Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
But it's also about welcoming the monsoons (winds that bring the rainy season).
And it's about swings!
In some places, there is a huge procession with decorated elephants and camels, richly costumed dancers, and a statue of Parvati, all decked out in new clothes and jewelry.
In some places, swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Young girls and women dress in green, and they swing and sing songs that praise both Parvati and the monsoons.
Women and girls not only dress up in their finest clothes and jewelry, they commonly decorate their hands and feet with henna. Also, girls and women traditionally receive presents from their parents (or, in some cases, their future in-laws).
In many places, women gather together to dance or attend religious ceremonies. Many make offerings of flowers and fruit to Parvati and Shiva. Women often enjoy enormous feasts, but some also fast for 24 hours. A special treat for Teej is Gehvar.
I can't think of a better way of celebrating Teej than by decorating playground swings with vines and flowers, and taking turns swinging. Don't forget to sing as you swing!
Learn about the monsoons...
Monsoons are sea breezes—winds that travel from the ocean to the land—but on a large scale. The monsoons that blow from the Indian Ocean onto the land we know as India, Nepal, and Bangladesh change some areas in India from semi-desert to lush and green, in just a couple of months!
We usually call only the rain-bringing winds the monsoons (although really the term applies to both the wet and the dry part of the seasonal change).
Read more about monsoons at Kids for Change.
Also on this date:
Battle of Flowers in Jersey
Here are my Pinterest pages on August holidays, historical anniversaries in August, and August birthdays.