What has also changed is that Tij has become more secular, and more commercial, while identity has added a new significance to the festival. “Tij is a tradition of Brahmin Chhetri women, so they want to celebrate it as part of their identity,” says Mishra. “But some aspects of it are also seen as being disempowering, and modern women have removed the more regressive aspects of it.”
Today, everyone is included in the merrymaking: schools celebrate Tij with children’s mothers, offices and organisations hold Tij parties, and women of all ages eat and drink.
“It is good to see women enjoying Tij as a celebration of womanhood, and I enjoy celebrating with them,” says Margaret Donahue, who has lived in Nepal for 40 years and has observed the transformation of Tij.
There will always be criticism of Tij, but women seem inclined to ignore it and have a blast, and use the festival to take a jab at patriarchy.
Tij this year falls on Wednesday, 12 September