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Pahili Raja Festival in Orissa

Pahili Raja Festival is the first day of three-day Raja Sankranti in Orissa. The festival is dedicated to Mother earth, girls and women. Farmers prepare for the ensuing monsoon season by giving rest to farmlands for three days. Girls and women do not do any work for three days and they indulge in fun, games and merrymaking. In 2024, the date of Pahili Raja is June 14.

Raja Sankranti festival is also believed to be grooming period for young women who will be getting married during the coming year. It is also believed that the festival is associated with fertility cult.

The three-day celebrations of Raja begin on Pahili Raja. There is a mad rush to grab the newly laid swings on the day. Different types of swings are laid on Pahili Raja exclusively for girls and women. Special delicacies are prepared for women.

Numerous competitions and fairs are organized during the period.