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This peculiar Oria Festival is a real bundle of joy

Today I got to know about 'Raja'. This is not the term that we can translate in English asking or emperor, instead, it is like the king of celebrations that are native to the state of Orrisa in our country.

In the society of this east Kolkata town where I live, I noticed ladies exchanging good wishes since morning today which made me curious to know about what festival is being celebrated today.
Somehow, I am a festive bee, one of those who love to know and celebrate each and every festival, be it from any culture and community as I love to celebrate everything. Being this spirit I indulged myself with the neighbors who are celebrating the Raja Prabha today or I better say from today.
Raja Prabha is a three-day long festival being observed this year from 14 th to 16 the June. Panchang wise this is around Mithuna Sankranti while the Sun enters into Mithuna Rashi around mid of June every year.
Particularly in Orrisa, this is the dawn of monsoon. So, behavioral in a state where the temperature remains between 38 to 48 during summer, the arrival of monsoon is no doubt the reason to celebrate. However, it is not just the time to enjoy pouring from the sky, it is time to expect good crop with enough rain and a prosperous year for all.
People also believe that this is the time to give rest to mother earth. Local people abstain from scratching the soil in anyway. For this they keep all agricultural activities shut and don't even walk barefoot on the earth. It is also believed to be the time when mother earth, who is also a woman, is menstruating. This is why the occasion remains for three days and mother earth is given full rest.
The first day of the festival is Palili Raja on which there is the custom of taking early morning bath and getting dressed up well to meet and greet friends and family. Young girls enjoy rope swings and sing auspicious songs. The second day is Mithuna Sankranti while Bassi Raja is the final day after which the mother earth is given a holy bath. People consider a piece of stone as mother earth to Perform such rituals.
The most exciting part of Raja festival I found is that ladies are also given full rest during these three days meaning there is no cooking or cleaning done in these three days. Some told me that they even refrain from chopping and taking bath. All ladies get indulged in activities like getting dressed up with new clothes and ornaments, playing games at home and doing gossips.
I also got to know that in the holy Jaganny Temple there is a pious idol of bhudevi who is well worshipped during this time and given the holy bath ethnically.
Among the humms of traditional songs Gopitua dance and tribute to mother earth, I wish everyone peace and prosperity. Happy Raja Prabha to all.

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