Festival and Events

Hariyali Teej – an all woman festival of Rajasthan

Hariyali Teej, an all woman festival, will be celebrated on 13 August this year. The festival is celebrated on the third day of the first fortnight of Shravan or Sawan month of Hindu Calendar, which usually falls between July and August every year. Hariyali Teej is also known as Chhoti Teej and Shravana Teej.

This festival is most popular in Rajasthan. Other North Indian states also celebrate Teej.

As per legends, Teej Festival is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and commemorates the day when she was united with Lord Shiva. Young girls, newly wed women and elderly women can be seen attired in traditional costumes or in special multi-coloured striped pattern Laharia Sari and ornaments.

Swaying on swings, adorned with leaves flowers is part of the celebrations. All over Rajasthan, even in remote villages, as soon as the signs of rain visible on the sky, Jhoolas (swings) are hung from trees.  Married women and young girls are seen enjoying these swings, wearing traditional attires. While swinging, they sing folk songs which are devoted to Godess Parvati who they believe will shower her blessings on married women. They also sing saawan ke geet, the songs dedicated to monsoon.

Mehndi Designs

Another traditional practice is putting ‘mehndi’ (henna design) on hands. For the women of Rajasthan, Teej celebration is incomplete without adorning their hands with the beautiful designs of mehndi. On the evening before Teej, most of the women get their mehndis done from the nearby markets or by their friends.

Ghewar – Special sweet on Teej

Preparation of a special sweet named ‘Ghewar’ is the other unavoidable item in the Teej celebrations.  It is a traditional sweet dish which is a circular disc of maida (flour) mildly fried in moulds, soaked in sugar syrup and dressed with dry fruits. It is mostly sprinkled with kesar (saffron) and covered with silver ‘varak’ (foil) on its top. Gifting Ghewar to newly married girls is considered auspicious on the occasion.

Other than Hariyali Teej, there are three more Teej festivals celebrated in North India. Akha Teej, Kajari Teej and Hartalika Teej are them. Akha Teej falls in April, Hariyali and Kajari mostly in August and Hartalika comes in September. Each celebration has its own legend associated with it.