Raja Festival of Orissa
Raja Festival is the best festival of orissa. It’s also known as Raja Sankranti or Mithun Sankranti or Swing festival. We, oriyas celebrate it in a unique way with doli and pitha(cake).
Poda Pitha, Chakuli Pitha, Aamba (mangoes), Panasa are the among the special dishes and foods, we usually love to eat in Raja. Unmarried girls of Odia family celebrate it with pana and swinging in doli with rajo song ” Banaste dakila gaja, Barashake thare aasichhi raja “.
The day before first day of raja is known as ‘Pani Buha’. Women from each & evry oriya house try to finish all the pending works for the raja. And also preaparation for the festival takes place. Because, for three days there is no work, only fun.
The first day of raja is known as ‘Pahili Raja’. The girls are wearing new clothes and ornaments & visit to the neighbour’s house, play doli, ludo, cards. Boys spend their time with playing Bagudi, cards etc. Second day of raja is known as ‘Raja Sankranti’. This day is for offering puja to deities with fruits and flowers. The last day of raja is known as ‘Sesha Raja’.
The festival is incomplete without taking ‘Raja Pana'(bettle). ‘Bhui Sitala’ is the end of raja, after the seshs raja. On this day, people offer prayers to mother earth. The grinding stone (silapua), thread, milk, turmeric powder are used to perform the ritual.