Raja Parba or Mithuna Sankranti is the unique festival of Odisha, India . The festival that celebrates menstruation is natively pronounced as ‘raw-jaw’, while ‘Raja’ is derived from the world ‘Rajaswala’ which means menstruating women.
According to the religious belief, it is said that during the first three days, ‘Bhudevi’ (Mother Earth), the wife of Lord Jagannath undergoes menstruation cycle and on the fourth day, she is given a ceremonial bath.
Each day of the festival has its own name and significance — the first day is called Pahili Rajo, the second day is Mithuna Sankranti, which signifies the beginning of the solar month of Mithuna i.e., the rainy season; the third day is Bhu Daaha or Basi Raja and the fourth day is called Vasumati Snana.
It inaugurates and welcomes the agricultural year all over Odisha, which marks, through biological symbolism, the moistening of the sun dried soil with the first showers of the monsoon in mid June thus making it ready for productivity.
In this occasion young girls wear new clothes and put Alata in their feet and spending time on swings( dolies ) , playing indoor and outdoor games and eating scrumptious food.
In these three days, they don’t walk bare-foot do not scratch the earth, do not grind, do not tear anything apart, do not cut and do not cook.
The Raja festival is incomplete without special songs and Poda pitha (baked cake).
Today is the beginning of Raja parba in Odisha.