Raja Festival: Honor to Womanhood
Every year the month of June is the starting of ceremony for Odias. Nowadays, the Odia festivals are celebrated by the whole world. Odia festivals are important part of Odia culture and Raja festival is one among the prominent ones. It is the three days celebration, which has been observed by women of Odisha.
During Raja festival, women and girls take rest from work and wear new dresses and sarees, Alata and ornaments. It’s similar to Ambubachi Mela. The most popular among numerous festivals in Odisha, Raja is celebrated for three consecutive days. Just as the earth prepares itself to whence its thirst by the incoming rain the unmarried girls of the family are groomed for impeding matrimony through this festival.
They pass these three days in joyous festivity and observe customs like eating only uncooked and nourishing food especially Podapitha, do not take bath or take salt, do not walk barefooted and vow to give birth to healthy children in future. The most vivid and enjoyable memories one has of the Raja gaiety is the rope-swings on big banyan trees and the lyrical folk-songs that one listens from the nubile beauty enjoying the atmosphere.
In cities nowadays, most of the organization are introducing so many activities to add more fun to this festival. They do some competitions for women’s participation, offering special discounts on malls for ladies, special tourism discounts by Odisha hotels for three days holiday and like this many more. Along with old traditions the new age creativity is giving more joy and fun for Odisha women in these three special days.