Timing of the festival
Teejri falls normally on the 3rd day after the full moon falling in August (month of Shrawan).
Who observes Teejri and why is this observed?
Married Hindu women pray and keep a fast for the health of their husband while unmarried girls/women who have reached pubert may pray for marital bliss. If you are of ill health you should consult your doctor before fasting.
What is the story behind Teejri?
According to holy books the Goddess Parvati fasted and prayed fervently for the great Lord Shiva to become her spouse. Touched by her devotion, he took her for his wife. Goddess Parvati, in gratitude, sent her emissary to preach and disseminate this religious fasting among mortal women, promising prosperity and longevity with their family. Thus was born the festival of Teej.
The observer beautifies herself adorning her body with ornaments, dresses in bright colors and decorates her hands and feet with mehndi/henna. Moving with times indeed changed, but here is a guidelines of what may typically happen on the day of celebration.
Here is what you need for Pooja:
Mehndi for decorating your hands (you can buy this readymade or make it yourself)
1silver thali (plate)
oil to power your diya
cotton wool for wick
earth and/or grass
silver or gold coins
little katori (bowl)
sindoor/ kum kum (vermilion)
agarbatti (incense sticks)
Mithai (Indian sweets)
A TYPICAL DAY ON THE FESTIVAL OF TEEJ
3 - 4am, before dawn, eat something, toast & tea, or a little sweet mithai. The day ahead will mean no substantial food so it is important to eat something at this time.
Have a bath or shower. You can go back to sleep.
12 o'clock pooja can be done as late as 7pm Many women sing Om Jai Jagdish aarti. You need to have prepared your usual pooja thali and lit agarbattis (atleast two) or a diya. After this eat some fruit and little mithai. You can drink sherbet (sugared rose water). Some women are very strict with the fast and do not eat nor drink.
No more food after this. Keep your fast.
Mehndi can be applied on hands and feet. If you are conscious of your appearance than apply a very small design but make a little effort.
Have another bath or shower in the early evening.
Prepare your thali (plate offering) with grass and earth. Take some flour and put it into the katori adding some kum kum, coins (do not use copper) sugared water and agarbatti. Add any symbol that evokes God. It could be a miniature symbol of Lord Ganesh for example.
Make the pingo/jhula (swing)
To do this you can simply take cotton sheet and tie this between two chairs.
The thali with all the ingredients need to rest in the swing securely.
You now rock the swing three times and recite:
'Teejri re teejri tu lodi pehnje raaj bhag(a) saah ma lodiya pehnje suhaaga bhag sa'
Trsalation of this means:
'Oh Teejri festival may you enjoy with your husband & clan and so I may too share the same luck with my husband'
Teejri Ji Katha
Teej ji Katha is now ready by eldest female of the house. A very rough English translation from Sindhi has been given too.
Lakshmichand nale hikro seth dhani ain Dharmatma ho
Once upon a time there was a man called Lakshichand
Hunakhe hikri kanya ae ba putta hua
He had one daughter and tow sons
Huna pehnje kanya jo vivah doordesh me karayo ho
He had got his daughter married in a faw away land
Huna ja bai putta anya nandaa hua
Both his sons were still young
Seth Lakshmichand khe yagna karar jo vichar thiyo. Una laye brahmand kha
Mr. Lakshimchand wished to do Yagna, and so a brahman was called in
Mahurat kadae pehnje bini puttan khe pehenje khe pehenje kanya khe vathi achar
to find out an auspicious day. He then sent both his sons to fetch his daughter
Bai bhaura pehnje bher je ghar pauta ae huna khe gadhi vathi vanyar
chayo, par una je bher khe Teejri jo virt ho.
Both brothers reached their sister's house with the intention to take her with them,
but she had kept the Teejri fast
Jiye ta bhauran khe Teejri je bare me khabar kona hui, hik bhav var te
chari kare pehnje bher khe thali dekhare chayo "dis chand nikto thai"
Unaware of the significance of Teejri, one of the brother's got on a
tree and showed his sister a thali (a round metal plate) and told
her "See the moon is out"
Rupwanti thali khe chand samjhi arg dei bhojan kayo ae virt toriyo.
Virt je bang thiar je kare, Rupwanti jo murs gehri nind me hali viyo.
Rupwanti, thinking that the thali was the moon, offered her prayers
and had her dinner, thus breaking her fast. Since the fast was wrongly
broken, her husband fell into a very deep sleep
Jade Rupwanti khe kuch bhi samjame kona piyo ache,
Unan je bhauran una khe sabh sach budayo.
In order for Rupwanti to understand what was going on her brothers confessed to her
what they had done
Rupwanti pehnje suhaag khe god me sumare sajo sall seva ae puja kandi rahi.
Rupwanti laid her husband on her lap and for a whole year kept praying and doing seva
Vari Jade Sawan jo mehno ayo, tade Teejri jo virt rahi raat jo
chandrama khe kache kheer me khand viji arg dinai.
The following year, during the month of Sawan (sometime August),
kept the Teejri fast, and at night offered the moon her prayers and
uncooked milk with sugar
Jade bachal kheer pehnje murs je vaat me vidai, tade unajo murs
chaak channo bhalo thi viyo
When she fed her husband the remaining milk, he woke up and became well
Jeko bh premi sachi nishchaye san Teejri jo virt rakhi katha prem sa
Parando ya budandho, hunanju sabh manokamnaun sidh sakar
Whenever a lover, with a clean and true heart keeps Teejri's fast and
reads or listens lovingly to Teejri's story, all his/her wishes will be
Can you See the Moon?
When you have seen a good view of the moon you can now make an offering to it. this is an offering to Chandrama. To do this:
Place on your thali a steel glass, with a mixture of milk
Place another glass which contains water
Add money to the thali (no copper coins) you can light an agarbatti too
Offer to Chandrama
Sprikle suagared water.
"Teejri aye khumbra vesa kare (Teejri comes with luck) aayon jo
goryon (for you I will offer you a jug of milk) lotiyon kheer bare".
The pooja is now complete. You can reflect on the day and now eat your meal and relax. In some households the in-laws give the women gifts. This is a beautiful pooja, which points to the sancitity of the relationship between two individuals. Is also underscores the power and belief Hindus have in a woman's prayer and blessing.