Mithuna Sankranti 2023: Raja Parba Date, History, Significance, Rituals to Celebrate The Festival Of Womanhood

Mithuna Sankranti 2023: Raja Parba, another name for Mithuna Sankranti, is a traditional festival celebrated in the Indian state of Odisha. It is primarily a celebration of femininity, fertility and the start of the monsoon season. The festival has historical and mythological significance in Odia culture.

Mithuna Sankranti 2023: Date

Mithuna Sankranti is a three-day long festival. The first day is known as Raja Sankranti, the second day is called Mithuna Sankranti and the third day is celebrated as Bhudaha or Basi Raja. It usually falls on Sukhla Pakhshya in mid-June, i.e. at the end of the Odia month Jyeshta and the arrival of the Ashadha month. And this year it will be celebrated from June 14 to 16.



June 14, 2023

Pahili Raja

June 15, 2023

Mithuna Sankranti

June 16, 2023

Bhudaha or Basi Raja

Raja Sankranti 2023: History

The origins of Raja Parba date back to ancient times, when farming communities largely depended on monsoon rains for a successful harvest. The festival is believed to have its roots in the worship of Mother Earth and her fertility. It is also associated with the legend of the goddess Bhudevi, who is believed to suffer from her menstrual cycle during this period. Consequently, the first day of the festival, known as Pahili Raja, is dedicated to rituals of cleansing and purifying Mother Earth.

Over the years, Raja Parba has become a celebration of womanhood, agriculture and the arrival of monsoon. It is a time when the community comes together to rejoice in the abundance of nature and express gratitude for the blessings of life.

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Mithuna Sankranti 2023: Importance

Raja Parab is an agriculture-oriented festival, celebrated mainly in the coastal districts of Orissa for three days. Mithuna Sankranti has cultural and astronomical significance. It marks the transition of the Sun to the zodiac sign of Gemini (Mithuna) according to the Hindu calendar. This event is celebrated to honor the change of seasons and the agricultural cycle. The festival marks the preservation of the cultural heritage and traditions associated with this unique festival.

During this festival, Mother Earth or “Basu Mata” is considered a menstruating woman. Therefore, it is strictly prohibited to excavate the soil or temper it in any way. Mother Earth is given rest like a woman on whom various restrictions are imposed. According to another folklore, the festival is celebrated in honor of Bhudevi, the wife of Lord Jagannath. It is also considered one of the main holidays for single girls or potential mothers. It symbolizes new beginnings, fertility and growth. Devotees often take ritual baths in sacred rivers, offer prayers, and perform charitable acts. The festival brings communities together, fostering unity and spirituality.

Mithuna Sankranti 2023: Celebration

The Raja Sankranti festival derives its name from the Sanskrit word “Raja”, which means menstruation. So, during Raja Parba, women take a break from their daily chores and indulge in various cultural activities. They dress in traditional costumes, play games, sing folk songs and swing on beautifully decorated swings known as “pithas”. These swings symbolize the joy and fertility associated with the festival. Swinging on these pithas is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.

Mithuna Sankranti also shows the close bond between brothers and sisters. On the second day of the festival, known as Mithuna Sankranti, sisters apply a special medicinal paste on their brothers’ bodies and pray for their well-being.

Special varieties of cake are prepared with rice powder, molasses, coconut, camphor, ghee, etc., which are called Podapitha (burnt cake). The size of the cake varies depending on the number of family members. Cakes are also exchanged between family and friends. Young girls do not eat rice during this festival and eat only different types of cakes, puffed rice and vegetable curries. People enjoy different types of fun activities within the community. Special dance events ‘Yatras’ and ‘Gotipua’ are organized at the community level.

In conclusion, Raja Parab is a vibrant and culturally important festival celebrated in the Indian state of Odisha. It commemorates and rejoices at the onset of the monsoon season, honoring the fertility of the Earth and expressing gratitude for the abundant harvests to come. People participate in various joyful activities, such as swinging on decorated rope swings, playing traditional games, and savoring delicious food. The festival promotes a sense of unity, happiness and rejuvenation as individuals and communities come together to celebrate the beauty and abundance of nature.

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