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Happy Raja Parba! Odia Women And Girls Celebrate The Menstruation Of Mother Earth

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| June 14 , 2018 , 13:51 IST

India is the land of many cultures, traditions and festivals, and beginning from Thursday is the 3-day festival of Raja Parba, which is mainly celebrated in Odisha at the beginning of the solar month of Mithuna, the start of the season of rains.

The term 'Raja' comes from the word 'Rajaswala' which means a menstruating woman, and the 3 day festival is considered to mark 3 days that Mother Earth menstruates. The first day is called "Pahili Raja" (First Raja), second is "Raja Sankranti" (Proper Raja) and third is "Basi Raja" (Past Raja).

It is believed that the mother goddess Earth, or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu, undergoes menstruation for 3 days every year, and those 3 days are celebrated by women and girls by taking a break from work, wearing new clothes, playing games together and generally enjoying themselves.

The women are given a break from household work and the ground is given a break from agricultural activity. Even walking barefoot on Earth is abstained from during the 3 days of Raja Parba. Women visit with friends and relatives, ride on swings and sing songs in celebration of Raja Parba.

On the fourth and final day known as Vasumati snan, ladies bathe with a grinding stone as a symbol of the Earth and adorn themselves with flowers. Similar to how the earth prepares for the advent of the monsoon, unmarried girls are groomed for impending matrimony while married women prepare for possibility of motherhood.

On the occasion of the first day of Raja Parba, people took to Twitter to share good wishes: