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RAJA: A Celebration Of Womanhood

It is believed that the mother Goddess Earth or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu undergoes menstruation throughout the primary three days. The fourth day is understood as Vasumati Snana, or ceremonial bath of Bhudevi. The Raja means Rajaswala, and therefore the festival became popular as an agricultural holiday marking the worship of Bhudevi, wife of Lord Jagannath. A silver idol of Bhudevi remains to be found within the Puri Temple beside Lord Jagannath.

How It’s Celebrated

The first day is widely referred to as Pahili Raja, the second day is Mithuna Sankranti & the third day is widely referred to as Bhu-Daaha or Basi Raja. throughout the fourth day is additionally referred to as Vasumati snana , which the women bath the grinding stone as a logo of Bhumi with turmeric paste and adore with flower, sindoor, and prasad. all types of seasonal fruits are offered to mother Bhumi. The first day is also known as Sajabaja or preparatory day during which the house, kitchen including grinding stones are cleaned, spices are ground for 3 days. throughout these three days, women and girls take rest from work and wear new Saree, Alata, and ornaments. it’s almost like Ambubachi Mela. the foremost popular among numerous festivals in Odisha, Raja is widely known for 3 consecutive days. while the world prepares itself to quench its thirst by the incoming rain the unmarried girls of the family are groomed for impending matrimony through this festival. They pass these three days in joyfull festivity and observe customs like eating only uncooked and nourishing food especially Podapitha and differing types of pitha, don’t take bath or take salt, don’t walk barefoot, and vow to provide birth to healthy children in future. the foremost vivid and enjoyable memories one has of the Raja gaiety is that the rope-swings on big banyan trees and thus the lyrical folk-songs that one listens from the nubile beauty enjoying the atmosphere.

To celebrate the arrival of monsoon, the joyous festival is arranged for 3 days by the villagers. Though celebrated everywhere the state it’s more enthusiastically observed within the districts of Cuttack, Puri, and Balasore. the primary day is understood as “Pahili Raja” (First Raja), the second is “Raja Sankranti” (Proper Raja) and thus the third is “Basi Raja” (Past Raja).


According to popular belief as women menstruate, which can be a symbol of fertility, so also Mother Earth menstruates. As all three days of the festival are observed to be the menstruating period of Mother Earth. During the festival, all agricultural operations remain suspended. As in Hindu homes, menstruating women remain secluded thanks to impurity and don’t even touch anything and are given full rest, so also the Mother Earth is given full rest for 3 days that each one agricultural operations are stopped. Significantly, it’s a festival of the unmarried girls, the potential mothers. all of them observe the restrictions prescribed for a menstruating woman. the primary day, they rise before dawn, do their hair, anoint their bodies with turmeric paste and oil then take the purificatory bath during a river or tank. Peculiarly, bathing for the remaining two days is prohibited. they are doing not walk bare-foot don’t scratch the planet , don’t grind, don’t tear anything apart, don’t cut, and don’t cook. All three days they’re ware new dresses and decorations, eating cakes, podapitha and rich food at the homes of friends and relatives, spending long hours, moving up and down in improvised swings, rending the village sky with their merry impromptu songs.

The swings are of varied varieties, like ‘Ram Doli’, ‘Charki Doli’, ‘Pata Doli’, ‘Dandi Doli’ etc. Songs specially meant for the festival speak of affection, affection, respect, social behavior, and everything of social order that involves the minds of the singers. Through anonymous and composed extempore, much of these songs, through the sheer great point about diction and sentiment, has earned permanence and has gone to make the very substratum of Odisha’s folk-poetry. While girls thus separate beauty, grace, and music all around, up and down on the swings during the festival, young men give themselves to strenuous games and good food, on the eve of the onset of the monsoons, which may not give them even a minute’s respite for practically four months making them one with mud, slush, and relentless showers, their spirits keep high with only the hopes of an honest harvest. , the young men of the village keep themselves busy in various kinds of country games, the foremost favorite being ‘Kabadi’. Competitions are also held between different groups of villages. All nights ‘Yatra’ performances or ‘Gotipua’ dances are arranged in prosperous villages where they’re going to afford the professional groups. Enthusiastic amateurs also arrange plays and other sorts of entertainment .

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