Did you know about Raja Parba ? I didn’t !! This is the first time am hearing about this festival of Odisha. And what a beautiful tradition it is.
Reposting a twitter thread written by Pratibha explaining this festival – Festival of Soil.
Raja : Festival of Soil (a thread)
In Odisha we’ve the tradition of celebrating three days of festivities dedicated to Soil. Probably no other region practices something like this. The mass festival of Raja starts a day before Mithuna Shankranti, called Pahili (first) Raja. 1/n
The preparation for the festival starts a day before and that’s called Sajabaaja.Second day is the Shankranti day called Raja shankranti.The third day (day after shankranti) is called the Sesha raja.
For these three days mother earth is considered to be menstruating as … 2/n
this symbolizes the fertility. That’s why for all three days of Raja soil is treated with utmost gentleness. All the agricultural works remain suspended. No one walks upon soil, that’s why swings are prepared. Young girls are treated as symbolic representative of earth. 3/n
That’s why they are given new clothes and all other beautifying accessories.Traditional food like Poda Pitha (baked rice cake with jaggery,coconut, cardamom etc) is a must delicacy of Raja.Many other mouth watering traditional odia cuisine is made and served in every family. 4/n
After the 3 days,on 4th day Basumati(Earth) Snana is observed. The grinding stone is used as a representative of earth. Turmeric paste is applied to it and then it gets bathed.After that it is decorated with chandan,sindoor, flowers along with other tools used in agriculture. 5/n
Prasad is offered and everyone prays mother Soil for bumper harvest. Slowly the traditional ways of celebration is taking a back seat but the rituals are still followed with all its authentic ways and sanctity. 6/n
Hope this year too mother Soil will bless us with good harvest.
But many responsible scientists of the world are predicting that we are left with soil for only 50-60 years. To be able to celebrate this festival we need to do our best to #SaveSoil
Raja Parba 2022 commenced on June 15th and will complete tomorrow. Hinduism has such beautiful traditions and very meaningful festivals !
Just imagine a child being taught about the Raja Parba. It immediately takes the taboo away from menstruation and it makes the child understand how sensitive Mother Earth is. A deep appreciation for the environment is built into each of these festivals. That’s why in India we don’t require a “day” to celebrate and appreciate the environment/Soil/Nature.
The Earth is celebrated as a Goddess, Rivers are worshipped, Animals are worshipped …. and yet sadly we would like to ape the West and the Abrahamic religions that constantly demean our faith and beautiful traditions. The Hindu way of living is the true sustainable way of living. Till the world converts to this way, we will continue to face the wrath of Mother Earth.