Raja festival celebrated in Odisha after 2 years of Covid break
Bhubaneswar: After a break of two long years due to Covid pandemic, Odisha has geared up to for the celebration of womanhood, ‘Raja’, in full swing.
Reportedly, the markets have become more crowded than usual in view of the festival. Adding to it, many organizations have initiated the celebrations in public places for the entertainment of public.
This is a three-day-long festival where unmarried girls wear new dresses, play cards, apply henna on hands, alta on feet and make merry.
The very first day of this three day long festival is termed as ‘Pahili Raja’ which is also considered to be the last day of the month Jestha (summers). The second day is named as ‘Raja Sankranti’ which is the first day of the month Asadha(monsoons). The concluding day is named in local dialect as ‘Bhuin Dahana’ popularly known as ‘Sesa Raja’ (last day).
However, in some parts of the regions the festival actually continues for a period of four days asthe fourth day termed as ‘Basumata Puja’ or ‘Basumata Gadhua’ (Bathing & praying of mother earth).
Notably, the festival is all about food especially ‘Poda Pitha’. The aroma and taste of this dish happens to be Lord Jagannath’s favorite and is savored by him each time after having the meal. Other than the poda pitha delicacies like Arisa pitha, Mutton curry and Raja Pana makes it one of the most special festival in every odia household.
This is one of the most famous festivals in Odisha that pays tribute to the menstruation cycle. It is said that the Vasumati goddess got her mensuration during this time. It is believed that mother earth menstruates during these three days and a ceremonial bath takes place on the fourth day.