Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 2 : Married women in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and other parts of the country today celebrated Teej festival, dedicated to Hindu deities, Lord Shiva and his wife goddess Parvati, with traditional fanfare.
Women observe fast to rededicate themselves to their husbands and family. It is believed that praying to goddess Parvati, who is also known as Gauri, consort of Shiva, bestows marital bliss.
"Those who are married are blessed with a good married life and unmarried girls are blessed for getting good husbands," said Rameshwar Ojha, a priest.
In Varanasi, women were dressed in their finery and prayed for the well being of their husbands and other family members. They also sang and danced to make the festival a fun filled occasion for them.
"We celebrate this festival with a lot of devotion and faith because this has been our tradition for years. We worship with great devotion for the long life of our family members," said Manisha Agrawal, a devotee.
On Teej, folk songs are generally sung in praise of goddess Parvati, whose devotion to her husband Lord Shiva, the god of destruction and rejuvenation, is considered exemplary.
The festival of Teej marks the onset of the monsoon in the month of Shravan after the long and arduous summer. It also marks the beginning of a series of fairs and festivals through the autumn and winter months, culminating in the spring festival of Gangaur.