Held during the monsoons in July/August, the Teej Festival is both a celebration of the coming of the monsoon rains after India’s hot summer as well as a celebration dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. During this festival of India married women pray for Goddess Parvati’s blessing to ensure marital bliss.
Though celebrations are held all over the North India, the city of Jaipur really puts on a show including a colorful procession that works its way through the old pink city for two days. The Teej Festival in Jaipur is known as the festival of swings because of the numerous Jhoolas (swings) that are decorated with flowers and hung from trees. Young girls and women dress in green clothes and sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon. Since Jaipur and the state of Rajasthan are India’s most arid area, it makes that the arrival of the monsoon be celebrated here with more passion than anywhere else.
The Teej Festival in Jaipur is celebrated enthusiastically by the women of Rajasthan who idolize Parvati for her devotion to her husband Shiva. The festivity revolves around singing and dancing in praise of Parvati and the rituals allow the women to look their stunning best. During this festival of India women pamper themselves, they dress up in their best clothes and jewelry and do traditional beauty treatments like elaborate henna applications.
All over Rajasthan, even in remote villages, Jhoolas (swings) are hung from trees and decorated with leaves and flowers. Women and young girls are seen swinging on these Jhoolas, singing traditional folk songs and playing various games with each other.
In Jaipur an idol of Goddess Parvati (Teej Mata) is taken out in a royal procession from the city palace so that the general public can have a chance to pay homage to the Goddess. The procession is quite a sight - antique gilt palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, horse drawn chariots, colorfully decorated elephants with silver haodas, horses, camels, walking bands, and many dancers are just some of the parts of this parade.
Eight men dressed all in red carry The Palanquin of Goddess Parvati during the long procession that winds its way through the lanes of the Old City. Local people come in huge numbers and dress in their best traditional clothes. Spaces is at a premium as people perch on top of buildings, in windows and even climb trees to catch a glimpse of the Goddess. Hundreds of children follow the Palanquin to take advantage of the offerings (showered in the wake of the Goddess) by spectators.