Banaste Dakila Gaja
Barasake thare asichi Raja
Asichi Raja lo heba nua saja bajja……
In ancient days most of the celebrations were agriculture centric. The basic characters of these festivals were mostly related to various agricultural operations. Raja Parba is an agriculture oriented festival, observed in Odisha for three days during the Odia month of Asadha. The first day of this three days festival is called “Pahili Raja ” (First Day ), second day is well known as “Raja Sankrant ” (Middle Day) and the concluding day of this festival is called “Sesa Raja ” (Last day ).
Actually the festival of Raja is celebrated for 5 days including the above mention days. Saja Baja (preparatory Day) is the first day from which the festival of Raja Starts. The whole festival really comes to an end on the fifth day, which is called Vasumata Gadhua (Bathing of the Earth). To celebrate the advent of monsoon, the joyous festival is arranged for three days by the villagers.
The reason behind this festival is giving rest to the earth. So the people don’t touch the earth during the festival. All agricultural activities are forbidden during this festival. The unmarried girls don’t touch the earth with barefoot. This festival is especially enjoyed by girls. As mother earth takes rest so also all the girls are kept out of all domestic activities. The girls enjoy their best during this festival. All the domestic activities of homes are handled by the male members and senior female members of the family.
Time of Merry making During this festival various kind of Dolis are used by people, such as ‘Ram Doli’, ‘Charki Doli’, ‘Pata Doli’, ‘Dandi Doli’ etc. Raja Songs specially meant for the festival speak of love, affection, respect, social behaviour and everything of social order that comes to the minds of the singers. Through anonymous and composed extempore, much of these songs, through sheer beauty of diction and sentiment, has earned permanence and has gone to make the very substratum of Odisha’s folk-poetry. While girls thus scatter beauty, grace and music all around, moving up and down on the swings during the festival, young men give themselves to strenuous games and good food.
Raja infact gives some leisure time to all section of the people especially farmers because from this month on wards they don’t get even one minute for marry making because of packed agricultural activities. Young men also enjoy a lot by playing Kabadi and other games. Playing Ludo becomes mandatory for every one during Raja . With out playing Ludo one cannot really enjoy what Raja is.
Cusine: Main attraction of Raja The special variety of Pitha (a special oriya cusine) prepared out of recipes like rice-powder, molasses, coconut, camphor, ghee etc. which is popularly known as “Poda Pitha”. The size of the cake varies according to the number of family members. Pithas are also exchanged among relatives and friends. The special Oriya Mutton curry is prepared in every home during this festival. Really the people eat whole heartedly and visit different places including their relatives. Besides these every one greets each other by offering ‘Raja Pana”. Celebrations out side Home In Odisha different clubs, Women organizations, Cultural organizations, reputed hotels arrange different programmes for the Urban people. They prepare ethnic Oriya foods for this purpose. Competitions of various forms are arranged for youth, women, children, girls by these organizations.
The whole Raja is in festive mood during Raja . It is a festival which gives a scope for tremendous business especially to the retailers and whole sellers of Garments and Grocery. All these concerned business houses give heavy discounts to the people for comfortable purchase.
Courtesy : Odisha Govt website