Wikipedia can be misleading if you look up the meaning of Teej on it. And yes, what goes on in Nepalese societies these days in the name of Teej celebrations can seem bizarre. Teej as a festival is a three day celebration. The first day i.e. Dar Khane Din, the next day, i.e. Teej and the final day observed as Rishi Panchami. However, women these days take these festivals overboard and start around a month earlier. Not the actual fasting that is observed on the day of Teej, just the celebrations!
Religiously, teej is celebrated by women (married and unmarried) observing a fast and worshiping Lord Shiva. Married women pray for their husband’s prosperous life, unmarried women pray for a suitable husband in the future. That is about the extent of the religious values about teej these days.
Nowadays, it is just loud music, fancy jewelry and fancier clothing. Yes, the devotion for the actual day of fasting might still be profound. But trends of pre-celebrations have attained an entirely new meaning. Earlier, the night before the actual teej used to be the Dar Khane din when women feasted, danced, celebrated with siblings, in laws and other relatives. Now, people celebrate Dar Khane din whenever they please. On the one hand, women are taking time off their daily lives having a good time with friends and relatives. It’s good, it’s great actually! It feels just slightly unsettling for an important festival like this losing its meaning.
There was a time when absurd songs dominated the market. The lyrics were beyond ridiculous but people, well mostly, women, would still dance around to the tune. Teej is a sacred ritual. Women willing to go an entire day without food for their spouse, is a proof of their blessed love. And Dar used to be the preparation for the difficult fasting the next day. Women could rejoice with their dear ones but with the busy lives these day, there isn’t always time. Maybe that’s why, pre-celebrations became popular with women who handle household and work life at once.
Luckily, songs these days are pretty catchy! The modern era has brought along modifications to the way we celebrate our festivals but as long as people are enjoying themselves and those awful songs don’t make a comeback, it’s alright!