khira Poda Pitha

7:44 PM

In a country where birth of a girl child is mourned, it was heart-warming to know of a festival that honours the womanhood. Raja parba or Raja festival is a three-day celebration in Orissa where femininity and fertility of Earth and that of Women are revered.

The word 'Raja', pronounced as Rawjaw is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Rajas’ meaning menstruation and a menstruating woman is called ‘Rajawshwala’. In an agrarian economy like India, Land has always been considered a mother, a mother that creates and sustains life. In Mythology too, it is believed that at the onset of Monsoon, ‘Bhudevi’ (the Mother Earth), the wife of Lord Jagannatha goes through her menstrual cycle and needs to rest. The land thus is not touched or disturbed by carrying on any sort of agricultural work. In agricultural words, the land actually is given a chance to heal from the summer heat in preparation for the upcoming important agricultural cycle that starts with the monsoon.

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