Pahili Raja in India in 2025

Pahili Raja in India in 2025
Konark Sun Temple Door in Odisha, India. Image via Good Free Photos
  How long until Pahili Raja?
Pahili Raja
  Dates of Pahili Raja in India
2025 Odisha Sat, Jun 14 Regional Holiday
2024 Odisha Fri, Jun 14 Regional Holiday
2023 Odisha Wed, Jun 14 Regional Holiday
2022 Odisha Tue, Jun 14 Regional Holiday
2021 Odisha Mon, Jun 14 Regional 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 start 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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