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Hokudai Bisauni

A publication of HUNSA

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Teej Festival 

"Teej" or Haritalika is purely a women's festival. It takes place in late August or early September. The festival is a three-day long celebration that combines sumptuous feasts as well as rigid fasting. Through this religious fasting, Nepali women pray for marital bliss, well being of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul.

A group picture taken during Teej Festival

Traditionally, the ritual of Teej is obligatory for all married women and girls who have reached puberty. According to the holy books, the Goddess Parbatee fasted and prayed fervently for the great Lord Shiva to become her spouse. Touched by her devotion, he made her his wife. Goddess Parbatee, in gratitude, sent her emissary to preach and disseminate this religious fasting to women wishing prosperity and longevity of their family’s the lives. Thus, the festival of Teej was born.

The important part of the Teej is called the "Dar-Khane-Din". On this day the women, both married and unmarried, assemble at one place, in their finest attires (mostly women are seen wearing red garments invariable and decked in all sorts of jewellery), and start dancing and singing with devotional Teej songs. The jollity often goes on till midnight, after which the 24 - hour fasting commences. Some women stay without any food or even a drop of water while others take liquid and fruit. On the third day, women goes to river and bath with “datiwoon’ a plant with regular nodules. Teej ends with Panchamee puja (religious ceremony) with offerings of flowers, fruits, etc., to Shiva and Parbati, beseeching their blessing upon the husband and family. 

We, Nepali women residing at Hokkaido Japan, celebrated Teej of 2060 BS. The program was organized on the auspicious day of Teej (on Aug 29, 2003) at International Plaza of Hokkaido University. All Nepali family members, including women, men and children, participated. The program was started at 6:00 PM, by singing a Teej song “Teej Ko Lahar Ayo Bari Lai”and later the environment become livelier with group dance. The additional funs of this program were couple as well as group photo sessions, jokes and musical chair competition. Finally, we enjoyed with typical Nepali foods, as a part of special dinner called DAR. The specialty of this dinner was: individual women prepared particular dish.  Oh! Khir, Masu-Bahat (meat and rice), Acchar, Tarkari (vegetable), Salad, Noodles, etc., were so delicious that we really enjoyed with these multiple tastes. Finally, group dancing with famous Nepali folk song “Wari Jamuna Pari Jamuna” ended Teej festival around 9:00 PM.

Thanks to all members of our HUNSA community who initiated to organize Teej festival in foreign land, this made us feel at home. Special thanks to women group for their contributions in preparation of food and performance of Teej dance in typical Nepali dress “Saree and Cholo”! After all, it has become one of the memorable events of our life: Teej Festival in Hokkaido, Japan!

Reported by: Mrs. Gita Bhandari

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