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Raja- Let’s Celebrate Womanhood

Our society considers ‘menstruation’ as a taboo but Odisha is one such state which celebrates a 3-day long festival based on menstruation.

‘Raja Parba’ is the occasion when Mother Earth “Bhudevi” menstruates that signifies the beginning of womanhood.

The first day is known as ‘Pahili Raja’ it is the first day of the month ‘Asadha’ in the Hindu calendar. Women all over Odisha eat Odia delicacies to welcome the festival ‘Raja’ and celebrate the advent of the monsoon.

The second day of Raja Parba is called ‘Raja Sanskranti’.  Young women wear new clothes and lustrous ornaments. Play indoor games, sing and dance. They get embellished with alta (red dye that is applied to the hands and feet of women), mehendi, kumkum (red powder applied on forehead) and chandan (sandalwood powder). Many wear garlands made of beautiful flowers and express the joy of being blessed as a woman.

The third day is known as ‘Bhu Daaha’ or ‘Basi Raja’. Women are usually seen working from day to night, they never pause. Be it as a daughter, sister, friend, or colleague who supports, a wife who adores, or as a mother who gives her all, women are always there, everywhere. So on this day, for a change, they don’t take part in the household chores and have some fun time on the swings, chat with their friends, spend some time doing what they love and take rest.

The final day is called ‘Vasumati snana’, in which the ladies bath the grinding stone as a symbol of ‘Bhumi’ with turmeric paste. Decorate it with flowers, sindoor and worship it. Young girls then bid goodbye to the festival and eagerly wait for it to come again.

This festival truly signifies how menstruation, fertility and womanhood are the cause of celebration and not shame.

It is a natural body function to purify impure blood from the system regularly. It affects the physical and mental health of a girl when she starts her menstruations till the time she reaches Menopause (the end of periods). A menstruating girl craves for snacks, sweets and a good sleep as she loves to be a couch potato and finds comfort netflix and naps. she experiences 100 things in a minute. For a girl on her periods ‘mood swings and food swings go hand in hand’.

Women bleed almost for a week every month still don’t give up on anything, they wake up every day, they do what they want, they become what they want. They laugh, they cry, they fight, they love and keep trying to be better than yesterday and the best version of themselves. They fall but they never stop. Women are proud to bleed and celebrate how strong they stand.


– Doublin Samantaray

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