Come and enjoy Raja Festival in Coastal Odisha
Celebrate it with Poda Pitha and playing of Swings
Come, join people in coastal Odisha, and celebrate Raja. For four days June 14, 15, 16 and 17 you travel in entire length and breadth of coastal Odisha, you will find not a single farmer tilling the field nor involved in any agricultural activities.
For the young unmarried girls it is time to rejoice and nonstop enjoyment without being involved in any household works.
The agrarian festival Raja is being celebrated ahead of monsoon being set in here in Odisha. From Raja onwards i.e. with setting up of the monsoon the mother earth gets relief from the scorching heat of the Sun. The festival creates a cheerful atmosphere among the agrarian community.
According to popular belief in Odisha’s coastal belt spread from Balasore in north to Ganjam in south the divine mother earth believed to be the wife of Lord Vishnu, undergoes through periods for consecutive three days stating from “Pahili Raja”, the first day of the celebration. As periods symbolize productivity, likewise the mother earth develops fertility from this time of Raja festival.
The farmers do not even put a scratch mark on the mother earth respecting the age-old logic behind the observance of the agrarian festival. During these four days, all the agricultural activities are being put to rest.
While the rural pockets enter into festivity with Raja Parba, the unmarried women make much fun out of the festival. The day before the Pahili Raja is ‘Sajabaja’, the preparatory day, during which whole of the house, mainly the kitchen and the grinding stones get cleaned up. These girls in different age groups start the day of Pahili Raja by taking bath before the dawn after applying turmeric paste on them. Then they adorn themselves by dapping on new dresses.
In absence of regular cooking activities in households, being prevented like agricultural work during the festival, these women play swings, eat Poda Pitha(local made cake) and chew sweet beetle.
Delicious Poda Pitha, the cake cooked by burning all the ingredients, covered by banana leaves, on firewood, is a must serve cuisine in almost every house.
The second day being the Mithuna sankranti, is popularly called as Raja Sankranti. The third day of the Raja called “Vasumati Snana” in which the girls worship the grinding stones as the symbol of mother earth by applying turmeric paste on the stones and offering delicious fruits as Prasad.
During all the three days while the girls merrymake by playing different indoor and outdoor games, the men also remain busy in participating in local sports competitions involving games like bagudi , Kabaddi and playing-cards. People specially unmarried girls never walk barefoot during the entire festival, in respect of the mother earth. Traditionally girls used shoes made out of the skin of banana trees. Ostensibly “Raja” brings holiday for three long days for the agricultural community which remains occupied from the “Akshaya Tritiya”(starting day of sowing of seeds).
Select Monsoon Special Packages and Enjoy Raja Festival in Coastal Odisha