This Raja 2017, we went out of way to explore and experience the true essence of this progressive festival that has been a part of the Odia people and their culture ever since probably time began. Raja Parba or Mithuna Sankranti is a three-day-long festival and the second day signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna from, which the season of rains starts. It inaugurates and welcomes the agricultural year all over Odisha, which marks, through biological symbolism, the moistening of the sun dried soil with the first showers of the monsoon in mid June thus making it ready for productivity.
It is believed that the mother goddess Earth or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu undergoes menstruation during the first three days.The fourth day is called as Vasumati gadhua or ceremonial bath of Bhudevi.The term Raja has come from Rajaswala (meaning a menstruating woman) and during medieval period the festival became more popular as an agricultural holiday remarking the worship of Bhudevi, who is the wife of lord Jagannath. A silver idol of Bhudevi is still found in Puri Temple aside Lord Jagannatha.
During the three days women are given a break from household work and time to play indoor games. Girls decorate themselves with new fashion or traditional Saree and Alatha in feet. All people abstain from walking barefoot on earth. Generally various Pithas are made of which Podopitha,and Chakuli Pitha are main. People play a lot of indoor and outdoor games. Girls play swings tied on tree branches whereas aged ladies play Cards and Ludo.Many villages organise Kabbadi matches among young men.
It was an enriching experience for us to witness both city and rural aspect of this festival. We had a great time making this video and we hope you enjoyed it too.