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Raja Parab

Time: mid June
Description : Raja Parba or Mithuna Sankranti ( ରଜ ପର୍ବ) is a four day long festival .During the three days women are given a break from household work and time to play indoor games. Unmarried girls decorate themselves with new fashion or traditional Saree and Alatha in feet.All people abstain from walking barefoot on earth. Generally various Pithas are made of which Podopitha,and Chakuli Pitha are main. People play a lot of indoor and outdoor games. Girls play swings tied on tree branches whereas aged ladies play Cards and Ludo.Many villages organise Kabbadi matches among young men.

It falls in mid June,the first day is called Pahili Raja,second day is Mithuna Sankranti,third day is Bhu daaha or Basi Raja.The final fourth day is called Vasumati snan,in which the ladies bath the grinding stone as a symbol of Bhumi with turmeric paste and adore with flower,sindoor etc.All type of sesonal fruits are offered to mother Bhumi. It is believed that the mother goddess Earth or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu undergoes menstruation during the first three days.The fourth day is called as Vasumati gadhua or ceremonial bath of Bhudevi.The term Raja has come from Rajaswala(meaning a menstruating woman) and during medieval period the festival became more poular as an agricultural holiday remarking the worship of Bhudevi,who is the wife of lord Jagannath.A silver idol of Bhudevi is still found in Puri Temple aside Lord Jagannatha.

The swings are of different varieties, such as 'Ram Doli', 'Charki Doli', 'Pata Doli', 'Dandi Doli' etc. Songs specially meant for the festival speak of love, affection, respect, social behaviour and everything of social order that comes to the minds of the singers.

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