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People celebrating Teej in India. Wikimedia
by Dr Bharti Raizada
Chicago, July 25, 2017:
I was born in a Punjabi family and grew up in Rajasthan, therefore I saw both Rajasthani and Punjabi traditions and cultures and I still have vivid memories of Teej celebrations by our neighbors.
This year, Hariyali or Choti Teej is on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. It falls on the third day after Amavasya and is two days before Panchami. Amavasya is on 23rd so Teej is on 25th and Nag Panchami is on 27 July 2017. It is celebrated on Shukla paksh Tritiya of Shravan month which is the season of rains.
Hariyali means greenery. Hariyali Teej is celebrated mainly in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Married girls go to their parents’ house and enjoy this festival with their friends. They wear new, mainly green colored, beautiful clothes, wear green bangles, apply mehndi or henna on their hands and feet, and enjoy singing Teej songs, music, and folk dancing.
Good food and sweets, specifically Ghewar, are prepared. Jhula or swing on a Bargad tree is an important part of this festival. Sindhara is the name of gifts, clothes, sweets, jewelry etc. which are given by girl’s parents to their daughter and her in laws and gifts given by mother in law to her daughter in law. Women offer prayers to Shivji and Parvati Devi for a happy married life and observe nirjala vrat or fast. They eat after Chandra Puja.
Other Teej are Kajari, Hartalika, Akha or Akshaya Tritiya.
In Punjab, it is celebrated as Teeyan and Giddha dance is performed. Sweets that are popular among Indians are Halwa, Kheer, pude, malpua and to celebrate its beauty, women wear multicolored clothes and jewelry.
In Chicagoland, Punjabi American Organization is organizing Teeyan Da Mela for last 13years and this year it was on on Sunday, July 23rd at Waterford Banquet Hall in Elmhurst, Il. The celebrations were dedicated to Late Mrs. Jaswant Kaur Dhaliwal.
About 500 women attended the event. There were clothes and jewelry stalls. Lunch, dessert, tea, and coffee were included with ticket, which was $15 per person. There was live DJ, Giddha, Punjabi songs, Dholki and open dance. A fashion show was organized by Panache.

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