(sanskrit) bhAvAkUta n. the first emotions of love
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Teej 2010 is 12-Aug-2010.

Teej takes place in august and early september in some parts of India and Nepal. It is a fasting festival for Hindu women. A three-day festival, which combines sumptuous feasts as well as rigid fasting, is celebrated for marital bliss and well being of spouse as well as children. It is also celebrated for one`s own body and soul purification.

"Dar Khane Din" is the first day of Teej. Both married and unmarried women assemble at one place wearing their best attires on this day. They sing and dance devotional songs. A grand feast takes place on the same day amidst all this.The celebrations often goes on till midnight. A 24 hour fast starts after all this.

On the fasting day which is the second day women spend the whole day without even a morsel of food or a drop of water, though some take liquid and fruit. They also dress up on this day to visit the nearest Shiva temple, singing and dancing on the way.They offer flowers sweeets and coins to the lingam, the phallic symbol of the Lord Shiva.The temple of Pashupatinath gets the highest number of devotees. The main religious ceremony for beseeching the Lords blessing upon the family and the husband takes place with these offerings especially made to Lord Shiva and Parbati.One of the important part of the puja is to keep the oil lamp alight all night. Its considered bad omen if the light dies away

Rishi Panchami is the third day of the festival. The women devotees bathe with red mud and leaves found on the roots of the sacred datiwan bush. This symbolizes the act of purification and the final ritual of festival.Completion of this absolves the women from all their sins according to their beleif. The severity of the rituals have recently altered but the spirit with which it is carried out essentially remains the same.

Amisha Patel
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