Kajari Teej 2023: Significance Of Sattvik Diet And Sattu
Image Credit: Sattu plays a huge role in Kajari Teej celebrations | Freepik

Kajari Teej, or Badi Teej, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated by women in many parts of North India, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Kajari Teej is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is primarily celebrated by married women for the well-being and longevity of their husbands. Unmarried women also keep a fast and follow the rituals to get a husband of their desire. Alongside various rituals and customs, the festival is associated with food practices that hold deep spiritual and health significance.

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Rituals and Customs of Kajari Teej

Worship of Goddess Parvati: Women wake up early in the morning, take a ritual bath, and dress in colourful attire. They have their sattvik meal and water and then get ready for an entire day of fasting. They then offer prayers to Goddess Parvati, seeking her blessings for a blessed marital life.

Fasting: Most women observe a strict fast from sunrise to moonrise, abstaining from food and water during this period, while some also have sattvik foods like fruits and nuts during this period. Women also abstain from eating anything sour the day before. It is important to understand that this is a very tough fast and should be done keeping in mind one's health.

Puja and Offerings: After the moonrise, women break their fast by first offering food to the moon and then consuming a simple meal. The moon is associated with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and holds spiritual significance. It is also considered auspicious to offer roti covered in ghee and jaggery to Gau Mata, or cows.

Folk Songs: Women and young girls celebrate by singing traditional folk songs and swinging on beautifully decorated swings. These songs are called kajri. There is a fair in Rajasthan to celebrate the festival.

Fasting And Sattvik Food During Kajari Teej:

Sattvik food aligns with the principles of Ayurveda and Yoga, emphasising a diet rich in fresh, natural, and wholesome foods that nourish the body and mind. Sattvik food is believed to cultivate purity, clarity, and inner balance. During Kajari Teej, women observe fasts and consume sattvik foods as part of their religious and spiritual practices. This diet is practiced to keep the body and mind pure, disciplined, and devoted during the festival.

On Kajari Teej, women observe a day-long fast to seek blessings for the well-being of their husbands and the longevity of their marital bond. Some unmarried women also keep the fast for their impending marital lives to be blissful. While many women observe the fast without having food or even water, which is called nirjala vrat, a version of the fast involves abstaining from consuming grains, pulses, and other heavy foods. Instead, they consume sattvik foods that are light, easily digestible, and in line with the principles of the festival.

Significance of Sattu

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  • This teej is also called Sattudi teej, and sattu plays a huge role in it. A ball or pind of sattu, which is basically roasted chana dal flour, is made in the shape of a mountain and worshipped on this day.
  • Various desserts like laddu, barfi, and halwa are made with sattu, which are enjoyed by the women and shared with everyone. Women also break their fast by eating sattu.

5 Sattvik Foods Consumed During Kajari Teej:

For those who cannot observe a nirjala vrat, here are some of the sattvik foods they can consume. These foods can also be consumed before starting the fast to keep energy levels high throughout the day.

  • Fruits: A variety of fresh and seasonal fruits are consumed during the day. Fruits like melons, berries, and pomegranates are not only hydrating but also provide essential nutrients. The natural sugars in fruits provide energy and help sustain individuals throughout the day.
  • Milk and Dairy Products: Dairy products such as milk, curd, and buttermilk are sattvik and are often consumed in the meal just before the fasting period. They are a good source of protein, calcium, and probiotics, supporting digestive health.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Nuts like almonds and walnuts and seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats, proteins, and essential minerals. They provide sustained energy and are nutrient-dense options for those observing the fast.
  • Sabudana: Sabudana is a popular fasting ingredient used to prepare dishes like sabudana khichdi or sabudana kheer. It's easy to digest and provides carbohydrates for energy. Members of the family who do not observe the fast but celebrate the festival often consume sabudana, kuttu, or singhara-made dishes, as all of these are considered sattvik.
  • Rock Salt: Regular table salt is avoided during fasting. Instead, rock salt, or sendha namak, is used to season the food. It is considered pure and sattvik in nature.