RED FM’s Sajja Bajja Rajja Festival at Nexus Esplanade Mall Sets The Mood On ‘Pahili Raja’

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Bhubaneswar: The three-day major Odia festival, Raja Parba in Bhubaneswar kicked off today with much fanfare as RED FM is hosting a 3-day event ‘Sajja Bajja Rajja Festival’ at Nexus Esplanade Mall making the city dwellers ecstatic.

Denizens of Bhubaneswar witnessed a glittery evening on 14th June that delved into a lot of entertainment chunks as RED FM’s RJ Harshit joined RJ Umang to fascinate the audiences present at the mall.

As a part of the amplification for the most-awaited Odia festival, Red FM is organising a three-day event at Nexus Esplanade Mall in Bhubaneswar. The audience present at the mall goofed up with a number of music, dance and fashion show performances which led to the ‘Sajja Bajja Raja Rajkumari Competition’.

Comprising of glittering set-up, RED FM organised several events at Nexus Esplanade Mall, which rolled out some sensational fashion shows and entertainment events by the Sajja Bajja Raja Rajkumari participants.

The event was punched with a lot of exciting stalls which overwhelmed the audiences with game zones, selfie zones and amazing gift hampers.

Especially, the Pragativadi selfie zone was one of the major attractions for the young girls.

Master Chef India Season 6 finalist Smrutishree’s RAJA MENU ZONE helped the participants and audience to relish delicious ‘Odia Pithas’ on the occasion of Raja festival.

A special feature of the fete is sweet betel (Mitha Paan) which has a huge demand during the grand festival. Different kinds of Odia cuisines especially ‘Pithas’ like poda pitha, Arisa, Kakera, Chhena Poda and other sweet items doubled the fun of revellers.

Speaking to Pragativadi, Smrutishree said:

Smrutishree, Chef.

It is a very unique event and I am proud for being an Odia and representing my state through my cuisine is the finest way to define my culture.

People became inquisitive because one usually doesn’t hear much about Odia food. Mostly outside Odisha, people know Odia dishes from Jagannath temple’s Abadha but there are other cuisines which have made tremendous significance. Now not only Dalma, Pakhala or Badichura are on the list. Chhatu patarapoda, Machha Ghanta, Sakara and others have taken their positions.

Cooking is my passion and I want to promote the authentic cuisine of Odisha on different platforms so that people can ascertain the uniqueness of Odia food flavours outside the State.

Here at RAJA MENU ZONE I have prepared different types of Odia pithas like poda pitha, manda, kakara, arisha, chhenapoda, Labangalata and khiragaja. People are getting overwhelmed seeing such a gathering after two years and this crowd is giving actual punch to the festival.

Besides food festivals, she also provides Odia food items at doorsteps through her online food delivery site.

Vox Populi

The three-day festival marks a period of unbridled fun and a host of festivities for the young girls, who are asked to refrain from any household chores.

Raja is one of the major shopping seasons after Puja in Odisha and we don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to have fun. I feel privileged as a girl during the three days of Raja festival, which means no work for us. We feast on delectable pithas, paan made specially for us, play a game of cards, have a whale of a time swinging in the park.

Sanghamitra Kar I
Banker

Though I am not from Odisha, I know a lot about this festival. The typical Odia festival is celebrated to respect womanhood as it is believed that mother earth menstruates during this period. During the three days, ploughing or hitting soil is forbidden. Now modernity has taken over tradition and we have to find our pleasure in it. Especially I love Odia cuisins. I came here and tasted a few Odia pithas today and all are awesome. The aroma and taste of Poda Pitha is so alluring that it happens to be Lord Jagannath’s favourite and is savored by him each time after having the meal.

Monika Maitri I Travel Vlogger

Raja was not a city festival at all. We used to visit our native village to celebrate the festival where there would be swings in mango orchards. With time, the celebration has undergone a sea change as elaborate arrangements are made for Raja celebration at several places in the city. I have planned to visit the at least half a dozen places and have a great time this year with friends.

Priyanka I Entrepreneur

Here are some exclusive pictures of Raja Celebrations at Sajja Bajja Rajja Festival:

Sajja Bajja Raja Festival is being organized by RED FM Odisha in association with Lalchand Jewellers and powered by Wefe Technology Pvt., Chappan Bhog, Hi-tech Medical College & Hospital, UBEAU, Max Fashion, KTG global School, ARTANDDEAIGNACADEMIA, GLAMUPBYSONALI, ChilisNorthEast and Print Partner Pragativadi, a leading Odia Daily.

Raja is a three-day affair. It commences a day prior to the Sankranti and ends the day after Sankranti—thus making it a three-day festival. The first day is called the Pahili Raja, which means the first day of Raja, while the second day is Raja Sankranti.

Sankranti marks the transmigration of the Sun to the zodiac sign (constellation) of Mithuna or gemini. And the third day is called Sesha Raja means last Raja or basi Raja. However, the fourth day plays an important part of the carnival. The day is dedicated to Mother Earth as she undergoes a ceremonial bath marking the end of the period.

However, Raja was celebrated in a low-key manner for the last two years due to the surge in the Covid-19 pandemic. And now, with Covid-19 taking a back seat, people across Odisha are celebrating the Raja festival with will fervour.

—By Abinash Pani

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