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Odisha celebrates ‘Raja’ agricultural festival

Raja or Mithun Sankranti is a three-day festival of womanhood celebrated in Odisha, India. Raja or Raja Parba or Mithuna Sankranti.

Context:- Raja or Mithun Sankranti is a three-day festival of womanhood celebrated in Odisha, India.

About the Raja festival:

  • Raja or Raja Parba or Mithuna Sankranti is a three-day-long festival of womanhood celebrated in Odisha, India.
  • On this occasion, people enjoy by cooking traditional delicacies, relishing paan, playing cards and other games with family and friends.
  • First day of the festival is called “Pahili Raja” which marks the beginning of the festival in which people do all types of preparations for the festival.
  • Second day is called “Raja/Mithuna Sankranti” which signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna(June/July) from which the season of rains starts.
  • Third day is called “Bhumi Dahana or Basi Raja” which signifies the middle day of the festival in which people take a break from their routine work to relax and enjoy.
  • On the fourth day called “Basumati snana”, people give bath to mother earth with turmeric paste and adore it with flower, sindoor etc.

Festival of Agriculture and Worship of Mother Earth

  • This is a unique festival of Odisha where Mother Earth is revered.
  • Agricultural activities like ploughing and digging are suspended during the festival.
  • Like a menstruating woman, Mother Earth is given rest without any disturbance.

Significance of Raja Mahotsav in relation to monsoon

  • Pahili Raja‘ falls on the last day of the month ‘Jyestha’, while ‘Raja Sankranti’ falls on the first day of the month ‘Ashadha’.
  • ‘Raja Sankranti’ marks the beginning of the rainy season.
  • Farmers believe that the fertility of the earth doubles with the first shower of monsoon.

Belief

  • This time period is considered as menstruating period of Mother Earth/Bhudevi, which is a sign of fertility
  • Bhudevi is known as the divine wife of Lord Jagannath (Vishnu)
  • During this period all agricultural operations remain suspended as a mark of respect towards the Earth
  • It is considered a festival of the unmarried girls, the potential mothers

Read also:- First Lavender Festival

Manasvi Patidar

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