Friday, August 23, 2013

Teej Festival

Teej Festival was this Friday and Saturday and Matt and I had a great time seeing the celebration.  Ajay took us to the City Palace on Friday night to see the parade of the royal family.  The festival celebrates Goddess Pavarti and her union with Lord Shiva, and takes place on the third day after a moonless night during the Indian month of Shrwana. It also recognizes the end of monsoon season (even though it keeps raining here!)  Women wear beautiful sarees and have henna applied.

We had to park about a kilometer from the City Palace, and walked down the busy street towards the parade. On the way we saw a group of monkeys!




When we arrived at the palace entrance, there were people lined up on both sides of the street. There were men carrying flags of Pavarti, similar to totem polls.  One man carries it, and he is surrounded by dozens of other men prepared to catch it incase it falls...which it almost did many times.


While Matt and I were watching the crowd, Ajay had found a great place for us to see the parade. We went up to a rooftop designated for tourists. There were many Europeans up there. A type of sweet cake was served to everyone, and women were there to apply henna (sometimes called mendhi). I got my first henna art there! The henna comes out of a tube similar to a toothpaste tube, is very thick. It dries for about an hour, and then you can wash it off to reveal the orange-ish dye. I of course smeared some on my jeans. 




When the actual parade finally started, it was hard to see because everyone was standing on their chairs, and many had their umbrellas open.  Ajay was able to get us onto another side of the rooftop which only had a few people there. I sat on the edge of the roof for a great view.



Here are a few videos of the parade. In the second one look carefully at what the elephant does. 

















People here are carrying a float of Goddess Pavarti. The people dressed in white are part of the royal family.





Me and Ajay


We are really grateful to Ajay for taking us to the Teej Festival. This was way better than any 4th of July parade I have ever been to, except I wish they threw Tootsie Rolls and Smarties at me. :)

Later that evening, Matt and I went to dinner at the Peacock Rooftop.  On the way there we took the scariest tuk-tuk ride! We had to go down a street completely covered in potholes. My butt was literally flying off the seat, and it didn't help that it was a pitch black street either. This ride was a little off-putting and I was worried I had led us to a terrible area. But when we got there it was wonderful! The restaurant is at the top of a hotel, and it is two stories. The food was delicious and very cheap! I actually am really starting to like Indian food.  Garlic naan is delicious, and we try to get a new chicken dish every time.  

Garlic naan and chicken tikka.



On Saturday we went to another place called Spice Court which also had great food!


More garlic naan (my favorite), chicken fried rice and chicken in tomato sauce. 


Thanks to my friend Sandi for a great travel book which has suggested both of these restaurants. I refer to it often.  The most important thing when looking for a place to eat is that the food is hygenically prepared, and uses filtered water.  We were worried at first about putting ice in our drinks at restaurants, thinking that the ice was made with tap water. However, I don't think hardly anybody drinks the water here, that's how terrible it is. Several people have told me not to use the faucet water on my plants. If I shouldn't use it on my plants, I should probably stop using it to brush my teeth. 

I can't wait to see more celebrations as our time here continues.  Being a part of the culture is a big reason why we came here. There are two more holidays this month, so we'll see what's in store for us. 














2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the festival with us. I find the elephants and camels fascinating to look at. Michael and I are looking forward to some good Indian food so make sure you test it all before we come! Email me the names of some dishes you like best because I never know what to order at the Indian restaurant by us. We love to try new things, but are overwhelmed with all the choices. Love you both! Happy Anniversary! Who would of thought you would be living in Jaipur, India when you got married!

    ~ Lisa

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