While the world have been criticized for considering Menstruating as a taboo, Odisha is setting an example of liberty, shattering the shackles of superstitions since years. The state is known for recognizing ‘Menstruation’ as a pure event and is thus known for celebrating a festival known as ‘Rojo’ or ‘Raja’, pronounced as ‘raw-jaw’ which is derived from the word ‘Rajaswala (menstruating women)’.
While India is known for isolating and secluding its menstruating woman from temples and even from their home’s kitchens (Sometimes even bedrooms), Odisha celebrated this 4 day festival on 14th June 2016.
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People in Odisha marks this festival on a note on considering Menstruation as pure thing, considers Bhudevi (mother earth) as a woman who is menstruating. These four days, Bhudevi is given complete rest and thus people do not work on their lands, do not plough or not even pluck a leaf or flower. It is believed that the land goes regeneration in this period of time.
The menstruation cycle lasts for three days, and on the fourth day people organizes a ceremonial bath, known as Vasumati Snan. The first three days are popularly named as Pahili Raja, Mithuna Sankranti, Bhu Daaha respectively.
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The celebrations do not cease here, woman in these four days wear new clothes, decorate themselves and applies aalta. They give up their household chores for first three days and invest their time in playing indoor and outdoor games, while devouring delicious food items. Women of every age participate in this festival of celebrating menstruation.
Though this festival has been celebrated since years from now, it only came in light after Sabarimala temple hailed its long tradition of labeling woman as ‘impure’ during menstruation. The world needs to learn a lot from ‘Raja’, that correlates the fertility of mother land with that of woman who is menstruating.
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