Teej Festival Rajasthan: Celebrating Joy, Culture, and Traditions

Teej Festival Date 2023

Location: Rajasthan
Date: 19 Aug 2023

Teej Festival Rajasthan


Festivals are the soul and play a significant role in life for the people of Rajasthan. Every season has a series of fairs and festivals except the summer months when the scorching sun burns the earth. And the most important festival to announce the presence of the monsoons is the Teej festival reflecting the thrill of the rainy season.

The arrival of the monsoons is a time for celebration. The parched land, scorched by the blazing summer sun, gets bathed in the first showers. The depressing landscape, a morbid brown is spontaneously transformed. An intoxicating fragrance of rain-soaked and fills the atmosphere clearing the cloud of dust that veils the sky in the preceding months. The brown is overtaken by a vibrant green.

Teej is the beginning of a series of fairs and festivals of Rajasthan.

How does the Teej Festival Celebrate?

Teej is essentially a women’s festival. It is also known as the ‘Festival of swings’. People believe that on this day goddess Parvati came together with Lord Shiva after a sacrament of hundred years. They look at them as a symbol of an ideal marriage. Prayer of Parvati's blessings done on this day for marital bliss. Women dress up in colorful dresses to worship the goddess. A day before the festival girls who are going to be married receive gifts from their future in-laws. The gift called shringara derived from the word shringara (adornment) consists of henna, lac bangles, a special dress of Laharia (tie and dye fabric), and a sweet called Ghewar.

Laharia and Ghewar are traditionally associated with Teej. Days before the festival's main markets of Jaipur give a festive look where the textile shops are full of a wide range of Laharia. Sweet shops do a brisk business in Ghewars. Rich families living outside Rajasthan order their Ghewar to be flown out from Jaipur.

Young women decorate their hands with henna. Folk songs - specific to the festival are sung to accompany the application of henna creating an aura of romance.

On the day of Teej, the image of Parvati is bedecked in a new dress and traditional jewellery and worshipped in the Zenana (the ladies' chamber in the City Palace) by the women of the royal family. After that image is brought out into the courtyard and later it joined the procession where thousands of spectators wait desperately to catch a glimpse of their goddess.

Hundreds of couples come to the city, singing, and dancing, on bullock carts, camel carts, and open tractor-trailers. They ramble through the city buying knick-knacks and savouring the food. Crowds begin to gather on the terraces in a bid to get a vantage viewpoint. At the auspicious moment decided by the priest, the procession is led out by the Nishan-ka-Hathi (the elephant with the flag). The magnificent procession of caparisoned elephants, bullock carts, and chariots comes out of the Tripolia Gate along with the image of Teej Mata mounted on the traditional palanquin Takht-e-Rawan. The crowd surges to catch a glimpse of the deity and a shiver of excitement passes through the audience. As the procession moves out of sight, people start dispersing and returning to their village.

Rajasthan has many festivals but Teej holds a special place in them as rejuvenation and revival of spirits.