Monday, June 13, 2016

Raja | A swinging festival of Odisha

 Let's Start

There are many festivals observed on many accessions in different different section of world. Festivals are main cause of economic development, social harmony, religious discipline and more over the rejoicing part of human beings. Most of time we celebrate festivals which we don't feel part of it and in such cases we create harmony with other religion and society. Most of festivals are mean to celebrate a particular view of the society which was followed long long time and in this cases the culture of society reflects how much it is particular to its culture and life. So there are many reasons among people to celebrate festivals. Festivals are different different types such as some are occassional, some are seasonal, some are continental, some are placial, some are religious etc. Here we are going to describe such a festival which is much much seasonal and very enjoyable but not so much adorable that means not so extravaganza. We could describe it briefly but as it a requirement of our exam aspirants we will go deep through it. So let's enjoy it through reading only.
Yes, definitely enjoyable if you have a festival with some fun activity like swinging! Most of us like swinging in the air and dreaming full life! If you have a chance of three days no work, visiting favourite places, preparing favourite delicacies and mostly enjoying with swings then what you will feel in these days. Of course there is no word to explain the rejoicing moment of life and here is such a festival which would bring you a memory full of life - 'The Raza' - A three day swinging festival. There is no date back to the starting of this festival as it is fully cultural and may be very old from ancestors to ancestors. It is a seasonal festival and mostly happens in the month of Asadha of Hindu Lunar Calendar. Yes it is a three day festival started in the mid of June when Sun transit to the Zodiac Mithuna(Gemini) mostly on 14th June to 16th June. Actually this is a Five day Festival including preparation to inauguration of cultivation on earth. As people enjoy three days in between so it is called as a three day festival.

Reason behind the festival 

The festival started with a holly aspiration to celebrate the puberty of the mother earth which commenced with the first rain drop of Rainy Season sinked to the earth after a full hot summer. The farmers who plaughed his crop field and waiting for the rain feel a merry happy, the people feel relax from hot summer. This is the perfect time to sow seeds in the crop field for Kharif Crops(Monsoon Crops) which required so much water to grow crops within the next four months of Monsoon Season. This is the main cause which make this festival happen in this season. In astrology this is the cause of Mithuna(Zodiac Gemini) Sankranti the king of Kama(The sex) and which brings the sensational rain starting from this day.
Lord Jagannath with devi Bhudevi
In mythology it is believed that mother goddess Earth the divine wife of lord Vishnu undergoes early menstruation period in these three days and the fourth day people called it as Vasumathi Snana. The word Raja comes from Rajabatee which means menstruating woman. In the Puri Lord Jagannath Temple of Odisha it is celebrated by worshiping Bhudevi the wife of Lord Jagannath which still found aside Lord Jagannath as a silver idol. In this period the Ambubachi Mela also celebrated in the Kamakshya Temple of Assam on the myth of menstruation of goddess Kamakshya.

Customs and rituals 

So totally four days plus one more day as to prepare the whole festival called as Sajabaja the day before the first Raja. On this day people prepare all food ingredients including grinding spices and grinding rice for next three days so that people don't have to go outside to purchase anything. On the whole three days women are given rest and advised to don't work and don't go bare foot. Only on the preparatory day they dig earth and put bamboos and make swings. In this swing preparation there happens too much competition among local people. They make different different types of swings. Some are so high that anyone can get fear to play there. But due to competition and prize giving programs there often people get crowded and enjoy the swinging programs. All people wearing ethnic wears roaming here and there, enjoy music and melodies. Every face in this festival looks happy even people greet them each other with new treats which they specially make. There is a rule in this festival that no one will touch the ground until Vasumati Snan that means upto fourth day when the goddess earth will be worshiped with grinding stone which used in homes to grind spices. Not even earth, no one also allowed to cut trees which shows how it protects environment and how mighty is it. For whole three days there is no boring in any corner. People arrange different different tournaments in games and one of them very famous is Kabadi game. Even rain continues people enjoy this game in the muddy playground. Such a moment really memorable in every person who watched and participated in this game and the whole memory will be the festival which brought all these happenings in everybody in every moment. On the mid Raja that means on second day which always a Sankranti a holly day in Hindu Lunar calendar. On this day people are restricted to eat non-veg and rest two days they can do their delicacies as they want.

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