Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar Jun 14:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the people of Odisha on the occasion of Raja Parba even as the three-day long festivities began with great fervour today.
The Prime Minister took to Twitter to share his greetings. “Greetings to the people of Odisha on the occasion of Raja Parba. May this festival bring happiness & prosperity in everyone’s life,” he tweeted.
Notably, the three-day Raja festival marks the beginning of the solar month of Mithuna with the onset of monsoon.
During this time, the farmers’ community takes a break from farming activities as it is believed that the mother Earth (divine wife of Lord Vishnu) undergoes menstruation.
The festival is celebrated across the state with fervour and traditional gaiety.
With monsoon hitting Odisha a day ahead of the schedule bringing respite from the sweltering heat, people, especially girls, adorned new clothes and savoured traditional delicacies like Poda Pitha, Manda Pitha, Aarisha Pitha and Chakuli among others. Shops selling meetha paan (sweet betel), an essential component of the Raja festivities, did brisk business with the prices of the Raja special varying from Rs 10 to Rs 50..
While girls enjoyed swing ride, men played bagudi (kabaddi) to the beats of drums.
Several hotels have made elaborate arrangements for the three-day festival in Bhubaneswar.
The state-run Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has organised Raja Mahotsav at the Pantha Nivas at Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Barkul, Rourkela, Chandipur, Paradip, Konark, Gopalpur, Puri and Cuttack.
As part of the celebrations, a food festival has been organised at the Pantha Nivas in Bhubaneswar where authentic Odia delicacies– Poda Pitha, Manda Pitha, Aarisha Pitha and Chakuli– are being served to visitors, apart from swing rides.
OTDC has made arrangements for gift packs and take-aways also.
The Raja festival being one of the much-awaited occasions for the Ollywood industry, three movies–‘Gapa Helebi Sata’, ‘Super Michhua’ and ‘Love You Hamesha’–hit the theatres across Odisha on this occasion.