The annual five-day Sawan Teej festival, organized by the Rajasthan Department of Tourism, is being observed in Jaipur from August 7 to 11. As usual, the festival features music and dance; food and craft bazaar, lehriya and mehndi competitions, theatre and the traditional social customs and religious rituals.
According to Rajastan State Principal Secretary and Commissioner (Tourism), Rakesh Srivastava, apart from the traditional procession of the Goddess Teej, the Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) is the main hub of a large number of folk and cultural events for five days. During the five days of the festivities, a food and craft mela at Shilpgram along with daily folk performances. Also, shops selling a wide variety of handicrafts have been put up at JKK.
The state-sponsored elaborate procession was taken out in Jaipur
on the festive occasion which was watched by people in large numbers. In the procession, the Teej idol covered with a canopy whereas the Gangaur idol is open was taken around the main Bazaars of the city. The traditional Teej procession with pomp and pageantry started from Tripolia Gate, winding its way through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar and Gangauri Bazaar it ended at the Chaugan Stadium.
Besides the government-supported events to attract tourists during Teej festival, various markets in Jaipur do brisk business in women accessories and clothes. Most of the fabric and cloth shops display special tie and die prints called ‘laheriya’. During the festival, sweet shops sell ‘Ghevar and Feeni’ as main sweets of the season. However, now a food festival of Rajasthani foods is also held to mark the festival.
Another, important part of the festival called ‘Sinjara’, wherein girls/ladies put on mehandi on their hands, is also held. In Jaipur, ‘laheriya designs’ have become quite popular among women to mark the occasion.
As a religious tradition, Teej is celebrated in Jaipur with a procession by women and young girls wear their best clothes with fine jeweler. After the procession, women visit temples to offer prayers to Goddess Parvati for well being of their husbands.
In Rajasthan, Sawan Teej is one of the most widely celebrated festivals with swings, traditional songs and dancing. Often, during the festival, local women perform traditional folk dance dressed in green colored clothes and sing songs while enjoying swings tied to trees.