Fasting holds substantial importance in India, especially for the women who have complete faith and utter devotion towards their prayers. One such fasting festival is Kajari Teej, also referred to as Kajli or Kajri Teej. This festival is celebrated 15 days post-Hariyali Teej or Choti Teej. Hence, Kajari Teej is also remembered as Badi Teej and Satudi Teej. It is generally observed 5 days before Krishna Janmashtami and 3 days after Raksha Bandhan. Majorly, a festival of women, people from states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and others observe Kajari Teej Vrat. Similar to Hartalika Teej and Hariyali Teej, Kajri Teej is eminently significant for women, especially for married ones. They observe fast on this day, which is said to bless them with a forever blissful married life.
Kajari Teej 2020 Dates
As per the North Indian calendar, Kajari Teej takes place during the Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapada month. While, as per the South Indian calendar, it occurs during Krishna Paksha of Shravan month. Interestingly, it falls on the same day as per these calendars. Usually, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, Kajari Teej falls between July and August. This year, it will be celebrated on 6th August, 2020.
Kajari Teej Rituals
Women celebrate the festival of Kajri Teej with complete zest and devotion. While in some regions, women celebrate this festival in their own unique style, these are the common rituals followed on this day:
- Married women conduct fasting and perform puja to gain blessings for their husbands’ longevity. Unmarried girls can also observe it in the desire of being blessed with an appropriate husband.
- On this day, many tasty treats are cooked from wheat, barley, gram and rice mixture (sattu). The fast is ended after viewing the Moon.
- Worshipping the cows is an important ritual to be followed on this day. Rotis made up of wheat flour, and layered with gud (jaggery), and ghee (butter) are fed to the mother cow before being consumed by others.
- Women celebrate the festival with great happiness and fun - riding on swings, dancing and singing.
- Kajari Teej songs hold immense value on this day. Singing these songs along with beating drums is a speciality in the regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Folk songs known as ‘Kajris’ showcase the women expressing her yearning for her husband, as she is sent to her parents’ home to celebrate the day.
Kajari Teej Puja Vidhi
Goddess Neemdi or Neemdi Mata is worshipped with high glory and esteem on Kajari Teej. Before the puja begins, there is a ceremony of creating a pond-like setup using a wall’s support. Gud and pure ghee are used to decorate and reinforce the borderline of this structure, and a small branch of Neem is planted near that. After pouring unboiled milk and water in the pond, a lighted diya (lamp) is kept near it.
A Kajari Teej Puja thali (plate) is garnished with apples, bananas, cucumber, lemon, sattu, sindoor (vermillion), a sacred thread, whole rice, etc. ln a vessel, raw milk is taken, and below puja vidhi is followed in the evening to worship the Goddess:
- Water and sindoor are sprinkled, and then rice is offered to Goddess Neemdi.
- 13 dots each - using henna, sindoor and black kajal (kohl) - are marked on a wall behind Goddess Neemdi. The henna and sindoor dots are made using the pinky finger, while the kohl dots are made using the ring finger.
- Then, the sacred thread, henna, kohl and clothes are offered to Goddess Neemdi. The wall is decorated with the sacred thread using the dots made on it.
- Fruits and other naivedyams are offered to Goddess Neemdi. A Kumkum tilak is applied on the puja kalash (sacred vessel), and a holy thread is tied around it.
- In the reflection of the lighted diya kept near the pond, they view cucumber, lemon, neem branch, and jewelry, etc.
Rituals for Moon God
After performing the puja for Goddess Neemdi in the evening, and as a segment of Satudi Teej rituals, Arghya (a mixture of milk and water) is offered to the Moon. After sprinkling water, Kumkum or sindoor, a sacred thread and whole rice are offered to the Moon God, along with food offerings. A silver ring and wheat grains are held in hands while offering Arghya to the Moon. A rotation (Pradakshina) standing at the same place is done 4 times in a clockwise direction.
Kajari Teej Vrat Vidhi
Generally, Kajari Teej is observed as a Nirjala fast (not even drinking water during the fast). However, fruit consumption is allowed for expecting women.
In case, the Moon is not visible to the observer, the fast can be broken by viewing the sky at 11:30 pm and eating food. After Udyaapan (rituals for concluding a fast), if an observer is unable to keep a proper Nirjala fast, they can eat fruits during the day.
May the Lord bless everyone on this day. When the rituals are carried out with strong devotion and faith, the observers are blessed with a life-long conjugal happiness. Happy Kajari Teej to all!
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With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team