Marwari Badi Teej Festival Customs

Ah.  I had mentioned in the sattu decoration post that I would make my sattu on 31st July for Badi Teej - but I had been extremely, extremely busy last month; did not get the time to make my sattu and decorate for Teej.

Instead, a friend made the below dalia ka sattu for me and even decorated it.  She added a supari in the center (last year I put a silver coin in my main sattu), topped it with chaandi ka vark (super thin edible silver foil put on Indian sweets), and decorated with chopped pistachios & almonds.  Pretty, right?
badi teej sattu
In this post I will share with you some information my mom explained to me about the Rajasthani Teej festival, something Wiki and other websites that I have checked so far does not have as yet.  The details are important for the Marwari/Maheshwari/Rajasthani females who will be fasting for or celebrating Teej festival, so the others who are not interested may skip the rest of this post.

And to the girls and women celebrating this Teej festival tomorrow - dress up pretty, ask for sinjara gift today from your hubby, and here's wishing you Happy Teej!
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Badi Teej is basically celebrated to get a good husband (before marriage) and for husband's long life (after marriage); while the girls/wives fast whole day the boys/husbands can eat all they want.  (Yep, so is life.)

Forthcoming Badi Teej festival on 4th August 2012 is a special event for Marwaris.  I think Nepal celebrates this festival in a big way too, but as far as I know, Teej is a grand one for Marwaris.  Apart from fasting all day until worshiping the moon, women lovingly prepare a large meal for dinner, and deck themselves up in beautiful clothes and jewelry.  We worship neemdi maata that night and perform the puja, reading out some Teej-related stories.  After puja, we wait to worship the moon, then slice saatu (it is called saatu paasna) along with hubby , then take 7 small pieces of saatu, coconut, neem leaf, and 7 drops of plain curd and 7 drops of plain milk.  And after that we have our dinner.  (These husbands aren't even thankful, gosh.)

my dalia ka sattu for first teej after my wedding
For my Teej 2011
For Badi Teej, as a married woman you have to make 3 shapes of sattu / pinda for yourself:
- one laddoo: you use this for the puja, to see reflection of your laddoo in the water (along with nath, neem ki daali, chunar, etc..)
- one shaped like a patty:  you use this to give for kalapna / baayna (explained below)
- one set on a plate, with a coconut/supari/silver coin in center: you slice this one along with your husband after the puja

In the previous post a reader Rashi asked to explain about the Udyapan / Ujawna ceremonies.  Here are the explanations for those and more:

For Chhoti Teej Udyapan / Ujawana - You have to invite 16 women to your place for a feast.  And give each of them some 5 suhaag ki cheezein each - like, bindi packet, bangles, kajal, comb, blouse piece, sindoor, or even coconut, etc etc.  If you want to make it bigger, you can even give 7 things each, whatever affordable.

For Badi Teej Udyapan / Ujawna - You have to make small pinda patties (put coin or supari in center and decorate however) and send one each to 16 married women.  That's all.  Then one sari, one envelope of cash (amount as per your wish) is gifted to your mother-in-law.  And one saakhya is chosen - your devar or bhaanja (or any boy who is younger to you except your brothers) can be chosen as saakhya.  You have to give him a pinda + cash envelope/clothes and whisper in the saakhya's ear something like "meri badi teej ke udyapan ki haami bharna, maine udyapan kiya hai toh maan lena" after the puja.  Basically means wishing for Udyapan to be successful.

teej festival customs kalapna baayna puja laddoo
For my Teej 2012
For Kalapna / Baayna -  Taking the pinda patty + some cash (here USD 5.00 is considered decent; in India you could give Rs. 21, Rs. 51 or Rs. 101 as your wish) is called baayna nikaalna.  You take few grains of raw rice + water in your hand, make one circle around the kalapna pinda patty + cash and drop the rice+water at the side.  Then dhok deke (bow down touching feet) give it to your mother-in-law, or sister-in-law, or any other aunt around who has also done the puja (and who you want to give the kalapna/baayna to).

For Sinjara - Sinjara is just the day before the main festival.  There's Chhoti Teej Sinjara and Gangaur Sinjara too.  This day is just meant for women to get-together, apply henna, eat whatever and as much, gossip and have fun.  Because the next day for the festival women have to be hungry until night until after puja and seeing the moon, and you can imagine how crazy a woman who fasts can get.  So this a day out for them!  And you can demand a sinjara gift from your husband.  I was too nice and never asked Alok for any sinjara gifts so far.  I am going to see if he brings me anything today!

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So basically, all this is how it goes on in my family, might differ how other Rajasthanis follow the traditions in their families.  I can understand girls who get married to non-marwari families or are staying alone overseas away from home might have no idea what is to be done.  I had no idea myself.  Last year I did whatever others did at the Teej Puja get-together.  But I hope all my Teej-related posts, a) this one about the festival, b) sattu decoration ideas, c) and how to make dalia sattu ... will help you all.  (I'd love to hear your feedback!)

I am going to have a get-together with other married women today for the Badi Teej Sinjara at someone's house.  It is a potluck and I am taking eggless brownies.  A friend is bringing henna cones and we will apply mehendi to each other; I will show you my henna design next time (if you are interested?).

Ask me any Teej-related or Sattu-related question here if you have.  But don't ask me why are all these things done in the marwari festivals.  I don't have a clue and I don't even understand the point.  In my last Gangaur fasting in March, after the puja and one-time meal at lunch, I was not supposed to eat anything (except fruits) for the rest of the day.  But I ate pizza for dinner.  I am a bad example.


  1. I enjoyed reading about the customs of Teej. Enjoy the day.

  2. Like the Almond Flowers with a center of clove...

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  3. Its very informative and shortly explained.Thanks a lot!!

  4. Beautiful decoration..loved this pooja thali...well explained and lovely post !

  5. Beautiful explanation. Remembers some of them from my childhood neighbours. Loved the Ganesh.
    I am hosting WTML All through August’12. Do send me your entries

  6. thanks to you i at least know what this festival about..
    i dont believing in fasting and all those rituals but i respect others doing it.

  7. Sinjara sounds like a blast...wish that we had such a fantastic occasion in our religions as well!

  8. Hey Nisha, This post is a keeper. I got this complement - "100 marks mil gaye". I guess, the complement is all yours.
    I read your India diary pages too. Well, If you would like and if time permits, how about a post on Wedding rituals - pre or of wedding or post (Of course those web and wiki sucks) ? - Neha

  9. This is all crap. So you wil fast for your husband. and what will your husband do for you gulp food and take dowry?? Does he not gift sarees and cash envelope to your parents and brother/sister..... Stop posting such crappy things... believing in God is more than enough... stop acting like literate illiterates!

  10. For a non marwari bahu like me, thid info is huge. ..
    thanks a ton
    would like to know about teej stories if any

  11. Can you tell me what is the significance of pinda pasna in teej?

  12. Hey u dint make a mention of neemadi or talai?


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