» Raja Parba
Raja Parba

Raja Parba

Category: Festival
Celebrated In: India in Summer Season
Celebrated By: Hindu (Hindu)
Raja Festival is a festival to celebrate the womanhood and menstruation. Raja is a 3 days festival celebrated in Odisha. This festival is specially meant for girls and women. Those who think menstruating women are impure or should be remain untouched, they should definitely see how this taboo is changed into a festival. 

There is no written history of when this festival is started. In ancient times, this festival was being celebrated only in between the tribals but now it has been spread throughout Odisha due to change of time and respect towards womennhood.

But Pahili Raja is just the first day of the 3 Day Raja festival and the day before pahili Raja is known as Saja Baja. The second day is known as Raja Sankranti and the third day is known as Basumati Snana (bath ceremony of the earth mother).

This is the time when mansoon clouds reach Odisha and the rainy season starts. So it is believed that Mother Earth is getting fertile and no farming activity is done, these 3 days are complete rest days for our Mother Earth. 

It is also believed that Mother earth(Also Considered as Bhudevi - Wife of Lord Jagannath or Vishnu) undergoes mensuration and is given a ceremonial Bath on the fourth day. The fourth day is known as Basumati Snana. 

So this is the festival of young girls. Girls and women are also treated as same and given rest from all works for these 3 days. It’s the time of celebration. After taking bath girls wear new dresses for these days. They wear Alta in their feet, kumkum, mehendi and all. 

Women and young girls do not take part in cooking and instead, play games and celebrate. Various delicious dishes especially Pithas like Podapitha(You can consider it as a cake made of Black Gram paste) is very popular among people during this time. Some varients like Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Chakuli Pitha are also made during these days. And the most popular among them is the Poda Pitha.

Both women and men, kids, young and adult are busy playing games both indoor and outdoor. You are not allowed to work and not allowed to sleep either during day time. So the whole day is full of joyful activities. Families unite and happy moments are created for these 3 days.

Men also celebrate this festival and during these 3 days no agricultural works like ploughing, sowing doesn't take place.  As like maximum festivals if India, this is also related to farming.

The most important work collection of “Lal Tuku Tuku sadhaba Bohu” (Trombidiidae, Red velvet mites). It is an Odia tradition to collect “sadhaba bahu” in rainy season during Raja. This is an unique tradition and mostly seen in village.

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