25th Jun, 2020
Raja Parba, a three-day festival in Odisha, is a celebration of menstruation and womanhood.
- Raja Parba, a three-day festival in Odisha, is a celebration of menstruation and womanhood.
- It is based on the belief that Mother Earth menstruates for those three days and she is given a ceremonial bath on the fourth day.
- For those three days, no agricultural activity like ploughing or sowing takes place as Mother Earth is expected to be going through rejuvenation.
- The first day of the ceremony is called Pahili Rajo, the second day is Mithuna Sankranti, and the third is Bhu Daaha or Basi Raja.
- Each day signifies a different phase of celebration with the second day signifying Mithuna, the solar month.
- Until the fourth day, which is called Vasumati Snana, the day of the ceremonial bath, women and young girls do not take part in cooking and instead, play games and celebrate.
- Men also take part in this festival, conducted around the middle of June every year.
- The festival, which started as a tribal practice, has now spread to all parts of Odisha. Though it has undergone a lot of changes over time, it still revolves around respecting and celebrating women.