The Teej festival has its roots in Hindu mythology. Hindu scriptures say the goddess Parvati launched a hunger strike, demanding she be allowed to marry Shiva, the man she loved. Her friends soon joined her with similar demands, and the young women came to be known as “hadtalika,” or protesting girls.
Parvati’s father, Himalaya, ultimately bowed to his daughter’s demands, and Parvati had a happy life with Shiva, according to the myth.
Today, Hindu women celebrate the ten-day festival decked out in red. There is a 24-hour fast, during which women pray for the good health of their husbands, followed by trips to temple. Below, photos of the celebration in Kathmandu, Nepal.