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Kajali / Kajari Teej
Kajali Teej is one of three Teej festivals celebrated by the women of India with great fervor and enthusiasm. The day which falls on the third day of the dark fortnight of Shravan month is especially of great significance for the people living in the small district of Bundi in Rajasthan.
In 2013, Kajali Teej will be celebrated on 23rd August.
Significance of Kajali Teej
Kajali Teej is a festival dedicated to goddess Parvati and on this day women worship this deity to seek blessings for a good husband and happy married life. It is believed that Goddess Parvati had fasted for 108 years before she was reunited with Lord Shiva on this day. As such both unmarried girls and married women keep a fast on this day to appease the mother goddess and make her fulfill their desires of a happy ad bright future.
In the district of Bundi a grand procession of Teej Mata is carried out through various markets. Along with the Teej Mata, the procession features beautifully decorated animals such as camels and elephants. In addition, various artists, folk dancers, musicians and performers also form a part of the procession and present various acts. Later the women assemble around a Neem tree, which is considered holy in Hindu culture and perform a special puja.
This puja, which is also known as the Neem puja is performed by carrying out various sacred rituals. The women also sing special songs known as Kajali songs intended not only to welcome the monsoon season but also to express happiness and the union of two lovers.
Celebrating Kajali Teej
It is customary for married women to visit their parents place on the occasion of Kajali Teej where they play Kajali. This ritual includes getting the soil form a nearby pond or river and sowing barley seeds in a mound made from the soil. Later the women assemble together at night and sing Kajali songs which can be both devotional and entertaining. Also this ritual is restricted mostly to the villages these days; it is one of the most ancient traditions which symbolize the love and affection between the people living in small communities.
Another important aspect of celebrating Kajali Teej is playing with swings. Beautifully decorated swings of different types are found in all cities and villages and women folk enjoy themselves by playing on them with their female friends. They also sing various songs and perform dances to welcome the monsoon season.
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