Raja festival

Uploaded 26 Jun 2012 — 8 favorites
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© Saroj Swain
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 26, 2012
TakenJune 17, 2012
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D90
Exposure1/60 sec at f/4.8
FlashCompulsory Flash, Return light not detected
Focal Length48 mm
ISO800
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Q: What is the best lens for theater photography?

A: Do you know?

Photo license: © All rights reserved

The most important festival of Orissa,India, Raja is generally associated with the farmers and is celebrated during the onset of monsoons.Also known as Mithuna Sankranti, Raja falls on the first day of the month of Asadha (June-July) from which the rainy season starts, thus moistening the summer parched soil and making it ready for productivity.Though celebrated all over the state it is more enthusiastically observed in the coastal districts of Orissa. The first day is called Pahili Raja (Prior Raja), second is Raja (Proper Raja) and third is Basi Raja (Past Raja).In some places however there is a custom of celebrating the fourth Raja also known as the “Basumata Puja”.Conceiving mother earth to be a woman on menstruation, which is a sign of fertility, she is given rest for all these three days. As such all agricultural activities remain suspended during these three days of celebration.

Significantly, it is a festival of the unmarried girls;the potential mothers. Girls are forbidden from all kinds of manual work during these three days of Raja-festival. They don’t carry water, cut vegetables, and sweep the houses. Neither do they sew clothes, grind grains, comb hair, walk in bare foot etc. During all these three days, they are seen in the best of dresses and decorations spending time visiting their friends or moving up and down on improvised swings. Special songs meant to be sung during these days only, can be heard everywhere. Though anonymous and composed extempore, much of these songs, through seer beauty of diction and sentiment, have earned permanence and have gone to make the very substratum of Orissa’s folk-poetry.

Almost every Orissa village transforms into a great melee of colors as traditionally everybody is required to adorn new robes.Another common sight during these times are those of swings which naturally come up in every nook and corner of the villages.The entire surrounding of the villages turn into a cauldron of ricocheting songs that go up with the oscillating swing.The festival is also associated with the Oriya delicacy of "Pitha" (dough cakes)which is prepared in almost all household.

14 responses

  • Geoff Plant

    Geoff Plant   gave props (26 Jun 2012):

    GREAT CAPTURE GREAT COLUORFUL PICTURE

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett   gave props (27 Jun 2012):

    Beautiful light, color, costumes! Excellent narrative also.

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (27 Jun 2012):

    Lovely! Wonderful!

  • Davide Simone

    Davide Simone (Deleted) gave props (27 Jun 2012):

    Simply stunning!

  • Dennis Watts

    Dennis Watts gave props (27 Jun 2012):

    Beautiful colors and a fantastic photo graph. Thank you for the background story, I always love to learn something new.

  • rashmi a

    rashmi a gave props (27 Jun 2012):

    lovely narration of Raja and fantastic shot ........ love this

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (28 Jun 2012):

    Beautiful stage shooting.

  • Lynn E. Harvey

    Lynn E. Harvey   gave props (28 Jun 2012):

    Colors are fantastic!

  • Nancy Richard

    Nancy Richard gave props (28 Jun 2012):

    I could sure go for the no work....LOL! Just love the description and the colorful costumes.

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (30 Jun 2012):

    Thank you Rashmi....for nominating photo of the week

  • Rachelle Crockett

    Rachelle Crockett gave props (3 Jul 2012):

    Nice one!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes   gave props (3 Jul 2012):

    Bright and beautiful. Thanks so much for the info.

  • Patty Gross

    Patty Gross (Deleted) gave props (6 Jul 2012):

    I love the vivid colors in this glorious photo, Saroj!! They all are so beautiful, graceful looking and very elegant young women. Your narrative is also extremely interesting and helped me learn a lot about this wonderful celebration and tradition!! Very well done, my friend!!!!

  • David de London

    David de London gave props (7 Sep 2013):

    Beaurifully done...thanks for sharing.

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