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Teej Festival

Teej Festival. Copyright Destination India

Destination India
24 - 25 Jul 2009 (annual)
Link: Teej Festival Website
The Teej Festival is celebrated in Jaipur with great pomp and show during the month of Shavran. Dedicated to Goddess Parvati, it marks the day when she was united with Lord Shiva after a penance of 100 years.
The Teej Festival consists of activities and rituals mainly for women and celebrates what is considered an ideal marriage between Parvati and Lord Shiva. Locals recreate the moment the bride left her parents' house for her husband's with a lively street procession. Images of Parvati, or Teej Mata, are dressed in new clothes and jewellery and then paraded proudly, escorted by caparisoned elephants, camels and horse-drawn chariots.

Jaipur's Teej Festival celebrations also include games and competitions in disciplines such as turban-tying and bangle-wearing. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers for young women to enjoy. They also decorate their hands and feet with henna, the popular belief being that the darker the henna, the more a man loves his woman. It is also commonly held that invocation of Parvati's blessings on this day results in continued marital bliss.

Girls who are engaged to be married receive gifts and married women get gifts such as a green sari or salwar kurta and some jewellery. A favourite during the Teej Festival is Ghevar, a crunchy orange honeycomb made from cottage cheese. Probably the best known Ghevar in Jaipur is made in a sweet shop called Lakshmi Mishtan Bhandar, said to have operated from the same premises since the 18th century.
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