Bhubaneswar: The three-day long Raja festival began across the state with great fervor and gaiety today, with a slight drop in the temperature adding to the public enthusiasm over the celebrations.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik greeted the people of Odisha on the occasion. Naveen took to twitter and wished girls and women of the state to celebrate the festival with fervor and gaiety.
ଓଡ଼ିଶାର ଅନନ୍ୟ ସାଂସ୍କୃତିକ ପର୍ବ ରଜ ଉପଲକ୍ଷେ ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କୁ ମୋର ହାର୍ଦ୍ଦିକ ଶୁଭେଚ୍ଛା ଓ ଅଭିନନ୍ଦନ। ଝିଅ ଓ ମହିଳାଙ୍କ ଦ୍ଵାରା ପାଳିତ ଆମ ସ୍ଵତନ୍ତ୍ର ପରମ୍ପରାର ପ୍ରତୀକ ଏହି ପର୍ବକୁ ଆନନ୍ଦ ଉଲ୍ଲାସରେ ପାଳନ କରନ୍ତୁ। ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କ ସୁଖ ଓ ସମୃଦ୍ଧି କାମନା କରୁଛି। pic.twitter.com/6xcJ5WmX47
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) June 14, 2018
The most important festival of Odisha, Raja festival is associated with farmers and is celebrated during the onset of monsoon marking the start of rainy season.
Also known as ‘Mithuna Sankranti’, Raja falls on the first day of the month of ‘Asadha’ (June-July). No agricultural activities are carried on these days. As per the tradition, it is believed that Prithivi or Mother Earth goes through menstrual cycle.
Women also get a break from household work during the festival days, during which they enjoy indoor games.
Young girls and women across all classes in rural as well as urban areas of Odisha celebrate Raja with great fervor.
The festival holds special significance for girls and newly-married women. Besides putting on new attires, they enjoy the swings and munch on sweetmeat and delicacies.