Pahili Raja in Odisha in 2021

Pahili Raja in Odisha in 2021
Konark Sun Temple Door in Odisha, India. Image via Good Free Photos

  How long until Pahili Raja?
This holiday next takes place in 261 days.
  Dates of Pahili Raja in Odisha
2022 Tue, Jun 14Regional Holiday
2021 Mon, Jun 14Regional Holiday
2019 Fri, Jun 14Regional Holiday
2018 Thu, Jun 14Regional Holiday
2017 Wed, Jun 14Regional Holiday
First day of a traditional festival in Odisha that welcomes the rainy season

When is Pahili Raja?

Pahili Raja is a state government holiday observed in Odisha in eastern India. Pahili Raja is observed on the first day of the month of Asadha in the Hindu calendar.

This day marks the starts of a popular three-day festival that ushers in the monsoon rainy season.

Traditions of Pahili Raja

The first day of this festival is called Pahili Raja (prior Raja) or Pahili Rawjaw. The second day is Raja Sankranti (proper Raja) or Mithuna Sankranti and the third day is Basi Raja (past Raja). In some regions, a fourth day of Raja, known as the Vasumati Snana is also celebrated.

During the three days, women are given a break from household work and time to play indoor games. No farming takes place and everyone abstains from walking barefoot on the earth. This is to prepare the earth for the coming rain.

Unmarried girls will dress in new clothes or wear traditional Sarees and Alata (red dye) on their feet.

Indoor and outdoor games are a popular pursuit during Raja. Girls will play on swings tied on tree branches while singing folk songs. There are various types of swings, each with a name such as The swings are of different varieties, such as 'Ram Doli', 'Charki Doli', 'Pata Doli' and 'Dandi Doli'.

Older women don't miss out of the games, but they tend to be of the more sedate variety, such as cards or board games like ludo.

With all agricultural activity suspended, many villages will organise Kabbadi matches against neighbouring villages to keep the young men occupied.

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