raja: State heats up for Raja festival after two-year Covid hiatus | Bhubaneswar News

Bhubaneswar: After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic, the state is gearing up for Raja, which will start from Tuesday. Markets were packed with last-minute shoppers ahead of the three-day festival. Several organizations also offered community celebrations of the Raja this year with celebrity performances, games and a shopping experience.
“Thanks to Covid, we have been celebrating Raja in a low-key way for the past two years. But this year we plan to make up for what we missed. Preparation is in the final stages with a lot of shopping and planning,” said Pushpita Swain, an engineering student.
During Raja, young girls dress in their best, play games, visit places and taste the special delicacies prepared for the occasion.
“Raja is a progressive festival. Although there is a taboo associated with menstruation in most parts of the country, here we celebrate the life cycle of women in honor of femininity. Mother earth is believed to menstruate during the festival, so plowing and digging or any other work on the ground is prohibited,” said Suchismita Mohanty, a lecturer at a college in the city.
Households are busy buying clothes and accessories for the occasion. However, the elders said that the tradition and practice of celebrating the festival had undergone a drastic change. Modernity has replaced many practices, which were used before, they said.
Besides wearing new clothes, the girls dress in their best, apply mehendi on their hands, go to the cinema and visit friends and relatives. Poda Pitha, a special delicacy served during the festival, and a wide variety of pancakes are prepared in homes
Odisha Tourism Development Corporation hosts the Raja Festival with a wide variety of cakes and also offers Pitha On Wheels service which sells pancakes in different localities of the city.

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