Bhubaneswar, June 14: People across the state are observing Pahili Raja or the first day of the three-day festival today but not with that much enthusiasm Odisha observes it due to weekend shutdown in 11 districts and lockdown restrictions in other districts following coronavirus pandemic.
All district administrations across the state have strictly prohibited public gathering and swing competition of girls, one of the main attraction of the festival.
Neither girls are riding swings, nor are women offering paan and pitha to each other following social distancing norms.
The fun of chewing the paan and the joy of enjoying on swings are not part of this year’s Raja celebrations due to the pandemic.
All cultural organisations of the state have distanced themselves from organising Raja Mahotsav and the observations are limited to symbolic.
Similarly, mutton is the main dish of every household during Raja celebrations and as the Pahili Raja was a Sunday, people were very excited to relish mutton curry. But due to the weekend shutdown people of 11 districts have changed their menu to veg dishes as second day of the festival falls on Monday and the last day on Tuesday – the days most Odia women don’t touch non-veg.