Saturday 26 August 2006

Nepal: the Festival of Teej

After driving round most of Kathmandu in our metered taxi (bit of a tip – always get unmetered taxis and negotiate beforehand) dropped us off at Durbar Square where the Festival of Teej was underway.

Women celebrate Teej in honour of their husbands, hoping to have a long and happy marriage. Thousands of ladies dressed in bright red saris congregated around the temples in the square to have food blessed for their husbands and to bathe away their sins. The mixture of colours, sounds and smells was intoxicating, as was the sense of peace and happiness. The monsoon rains did nothing to dampen spirits.

After a light lunch (for reasons that will become clear), we walked a few minutes from the hotel where the Teej festivities were focused. Swarms of crimson bodies were funnelled into bamboo-framed lines to the temples, while the rest of the world peddled accessories; powdered dyes, flowers, garlands, henna tattoos, jewellery, drinks, snacks and blood pressure tests.

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