Bhubaneswar: As the Raja festival is coming nearer, shopping for the festival is gaining momentum as great rush of people particularly females and children is being witnessed in markets and bazaars of the city.
The most important festival of Odisha, Raja festival is associated with farmers and is celebrated during the onset of monsoon.
Also known as ‘Mithuna Sankranti’, Raja falls on the first day of the month of ‘Asadha’ (June-July) from which the rainy season starts. No agricultural activities are carried on these days, as per the tradition.
During the festival, women refrain from doing any household chores for three days and celebrate the festival wearing new clothes & jewellery, enjoy the swings and munch on sweetmeat and delicacies. The festival holds special significance for girls and newly-married women. It will be celebrated from Thursday.
Shopping malls with many brands under one roof and international brands with their stand alone outlets are seen crowded with shoppers. A spin around the city will reveal youngsters vying for the absolutely latest designer and trending pics that are up to date with social media trend setters.
Since the festival is dedicated to womanhood, leading malls in the city are offering heavy discounts and attractive items to woo women. Some stores are giving scratch-and-win coupons or lucky draws.
Women are also seen making a beeline for jewellery and cosmetics stores and buying other items such as purses, clutches and handbags to match their apparels.
Besides this, stalls selling sweets and fruits are also witnessing heavy rush.
A number of hotels in the city have also come up with special platters with Odia delicacies for the festival.
Besides, multi-starrer Odia movie ‘4 idiots’ featuring Sabyasachi Mishra, Akash Dasnayak, Kuna Tripathy, Papu Pom Pom, Elina Samantaray, Poonam Mishra, Chandni and Lipsa Misha is all set to add colours to this year’s Raja festival.
Odisha’s leading production house Tarang Cine Productions’ is also back with a Raja special entertainer as ‘Sundergarh Ra Salman Khan’ is all set to release across 70 theatres in the State. The premiere show will be held at Jayashree Hall in Cuttack.
Directed by Ashok Pati, the film’s star cast include chocolate boy Babushan, Mihir Das, Bobby Mishra, Papu Pom Pom and Usasi Mishra. Debutant Divya is the female lead of the movie opposite Babushan. The movie’s music is composed by Abhijit Majumdar.
Apart from this, people can indulge in various types of pithas made in the traditional manner using handmade ingredients such as arisha, kakara, karanji, poda, bhaja and sijha manda.
In addition, consuming paan is a major ritual of the festival. A number of special kiosks offering special tobacco-free Banarasi paan have also come up at various places in the city.