RAJO FESTIVAL – CELEBRATING WOMANHOOD

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Among many wives of Lord Vishnu, VASUDHA is the Goddess Earth, and so the name VAASUDEV has derived(the other name of Lord Vishnu). The lovely queen VASUDHA is the mother of all. She is the creator of Time & Nature. Yearly once like every women VASUDHA has her menstrual cycle. During this period for initial 3 days we celebrate Rajo Festival. From Sanskrit words, Rajo & Bija are the two ornaments which brings generation. In case of a women after Raja (Menstrual Cycle) she get fertilize. It is believed that mother earth menstruates during these three days and a ceremonial bath takes place on the fourth day. This day is celebrated by girls wearing new clothes, taking swings hanging on the tree branches. Ploughing the fields does not take place and unmarried girls celebrate as it’s their day of celebration

The only festival in the world which celebrates womanhood and menstruation.
it is believed mother earth goes through rejuvenation.

It is not just the unique amalgamation of rich tradition along with fun, frolic, and mouth-watering cuisines, but it also celebrates womanhood.
Significance:
Raja is an abbreviation used for Rajaswala (meaning a menstruating woman) and is celebrated across Odisha and Odias living outside. It signifies the menstrual cycle of the earth similar to that of a woman. Similar to women, the earth is considered to be in a latent stage during these days. This resting period of the earth is when all agricultural activities are forbidden.

Rajo Sankranti is an interesting festival of Odisha. It comes in the month of June. After dry Summer when rainfall starts the Goddess Earth get wet. Looking into this, lovers of earth saying “Happy Rajo”. Raja festival is mainly for Farmers & Girls. The 3 days of this festival is popular as “PAHILI RAJO / SAJABAJA“, “RAJA SANKRANTI” & “VUMI SITALA / VASUMATI SNANA“.

PAHILI RAJO
The first day of Rajo Festival is called PAHILI RAJO. As a tradition in Raja girls & women visits their friends & relatives house. The cause Girls & women wears new Sarees, Dresses, Ornaments & ALTA. Few visits beauty parlor to make them more beautiful. That’s why PAHILI RAJO is also popular as SAJABAJA.
Starting from PAHILI RAJO for 3 days farmers not do farming. They believe during this period it is not good to ploughing field. To entertain more in Rajo they play several games like Ludo or Playing Cards.

RAJA SANKRANTI
The mid day of Rajo festival is called RAJO SANKRANTI. The real name of this SANKRANTI is “Mithun Sankranti“. In mid Rajo it was found peoples celebrate the day with Special Raja PODAPITHA & Chakuli Pitha. Additionally Mangoes are very common in Rajo. The most interesting thing of this festival is “DOLI”(swings). Starting from Women to Girls all love play this. The gathering near to Rajo Doli brings an excitement to entertainment. Rajo helps to improve integrity & social relationship.

VASUMATI SNANA
According to mythology after menstrual cycle this is day when VASUDHA takes bath. After Rajo the earth gets fertilize for farming.
Popular Rajo Song
Banaste dakila Gaja,
Barasake thare aasichhi Rajo.
Asichi Rajo lo,
Gheni nua Sajabaja.

Popular Foods of Rajo Festival
During Rajo Festival various Pitha’s are found in many families. The major Pitha’s are PODAPITHA & Chakuli Pitha. Including Pitha Raja PANA (Sweet betel) is one more popular dish of Rajo.

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