In 2021, Pahili Raja will be celebrated on 14 June in the state of Odisha in India. It is a government holiday observed by the state and usually falls on the first day of the Hindu calendar month of Asadha. It is celebrated to herald the monsoons and is a colorful three-day festival.
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About Pahili Raja Festival
Each of the festival days has a special significance and name. Pahili Raja, or the ''king prior'', is the first day of the festival. It is also called Pahili Rawjaw. Raja Sankranti, or ''the proper king'' is the second day of the festival. Basi Raja, or ''the king in the past'' is the third day of the festival. In some parts of Odisha, a fourth day is also celebrated, called Basi Raja, which also means ''the king in the past''.
Farming and household chores are completely abstained from during these three days. Women indulge in a wide variety of indoor games during the festival. Nobody walks barefoot on the earth as a way to prepare the earth for the monsoons that are coming. Girls who are single wear a red dye on their feet, called ''alata'' and wear their traditional clothes which are new.
Both indoor and outdoor games are popular during the three days of the festival. Swings are tied on tree branches and folk songs are sung as girls play on them. The swings too are in various types and have different names, some of which are 'Charki Doli', 'Ram Doli', 'Dandi Doli', and 'Pata Doli'.
Kabadi matches are also organised with villages competing against each other.
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