Pune to Host Raja Mahotsav: A Celebration of Cultural Traditions and Womanhood

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Pune, 19th June 2024: Raja Mahotsav is a 4-day festival which is the second most popular festival in Odisha after the Rath Yatra festival. Celebrating the fertility of Mother Earth at the start of the rainy season. this festival is enjoyed by the whole family in large numbers, said Dr Mamta Mishra, founder of Kalinga Kala Kendra Trust.

She made an announcement of her upcoming event   “Raja Mahotsav’  which is on 21st June at 4p.m. at Bal Gandharva Ranga Mandir Auditorium.  The aim behind this event is to pass on the knowledge of our cultural tradition to the next generation.

Speaking at the press conference, she gave detailed information about this festival celebrated in Odisha and Bengal. She was accompanied by Nikshita Sarangi, Loknath Sarangi, Sangeeta Mishra, Priyanka Bose and Saroj Sahu. During this four-day festival, all agricultural activities are stopped as a sign of respect to Mother Earth, it is believed that when the first raindrops fall on Mother Earth, Mother Earth menstruates, said Dr Mishra.

During this time, all the families celebrate these 4 days by making sweet dishes at home. This four-day festival is considered very important in Odisha and Bengal. ‘Raja Mahotsav’ is celebrated in Odisha to honour the femininity of Mother Earth as well as Lord Jagannath’s second wife Bhudevi (Lord Vishnu’s wife Lakshmi). The festival has four different days. Raj, Mithun Sankranti, Shesh Raj and Vasumati Snan, where the idol of Goddess Bhudevi is bathed with turmeric water along with flowers. It is believed that Mother Earth prepares herself for the coming rainy season. In India, menstruation was considered an impure concept and women were kept away from worship or other religious rituals during this time, but in Odisha, Bengal, this unusual tradition is broken and womanhood is celebrated. The concept behind this festival is that if women are happy with the four-day festival, then Goddess Bhudevi will also be happy and she will bless them with good income and children.

Dr. Mishra has been working for the last decade on behalf of Kalinga Kala Kendra Trust to create public awareness about the dignity of womanhood and hygiene, health and diet during menstruation through entertainment.

This year’s Raja Mahotsav will showcase the art and culture of Odisha, Bengal and Maharashtra!

A cultural program of the states of Odisha, Bengal as well as Maharashtra has been conducted at 4 pm on June 21 at Balgandharva Rangmandir, Jangli Maharaj Road in Pune. It includes play, singing and dancing by artists from three different states. Odisha’s famous folk song singer Anindita Das, disciple of Odissi dancer Madhumita Mishra, classical singer Vilina Patra, Odissi artist Prabhakar Swain will present the art of Odisha.

Bengali lap guitarist Shyamal Banerjee, classical Gaudio dancer Paulomi Chatterjee, Kathak dancer Sahana Ray, singer Nivedita Dutta will present the art of Bengal. Manjusha Ravi Bhaskarwar, Maharashtra Culture Secretary of the Trust and her team will present a Marathi short play based on menstrual cycle. Mayuri Atre will present a Marathi song. Dancer Vrinda Sathe and group will present a dance composition based on Maharashtra’s ‘Rutumati Sohala’. Traditional Odisha cuisine can be enjoyed during the festival.

Oye Creators

Sanitary pad and diaper manufacturer Monalisha Kanungo, popularly known as the Pad Woman of Gurgaon, Pradeep Vedula, President Sales and Marketing, Finolex, IPS, Director General and Chairman Sanjeev Patjoshi, entrepreneur Biren Sahu, Odia Cultural Secretary of the Trust Saroj Sahu and Bengal Cultural Secretary Priyanka Bose will be present at the festival. The program will be hosted by Swati Shweta Raut (RJ Swati).