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.
Other names of Raja festival :
The Raja Sankranti day is also called the ‘Swing Festival’ because of the many varities of swings that are hung from tree branches. Girls play on these swings while singing folk songs.There are four types of swings named as Ram doli, Charki doli, Pata doli & Dandi Doli.
It is similar to Ambubachi Mela of Assam. Ambubachi Mela is a four-day festival which marks the annual menstruation of the goddess at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.
Ambubachi Mela is one of the biggest congregations of eastern India
- 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
Important takeaways for competitive exams:
- Naveen Patnaik is the current and 14th Chief Minister of Odisha;
- Some famous temples in Odisha are – Jagannath temple, Lingaraj temple, Bramheswara temple & Maa Samaleswari temple.