‘Paan’ is a mouth freshener. A normal ‘paan’ is wrapped in a conical shape with all pan masala and chopped areca nut inside it. But the ‘Raja paan’ is wrapped in a triangular shape.
As Raja festival can never be imagined without mouth-watering delicacies, ‘poda pitha’, new clothes and swings, it can’t be complete without ‘paan’ too.
‘Paan’ is a mouth freshener. A normal ‘paan’ is wrapped in a conical shape with all pan masala and chopped areca nut inside it. But the ‘Raja paan’ is wrapped in a triangular shape. A betel leaf is wrapped in triangular shape and is held together with a clove with a filling of chopped areca nut and pan masala inside it.
Raja festival, which usually falls on June 14, is a three-day affair. While the first day is called ‘Pahili Raja’, the second day is called ‘Majhi Raja’ or ‘Raja Sankranti’ or ‘Mithuna Sankranti’ and the last day is called ‘Bhudaha’ or ‘Basi Raja’ or ‘Sesha Raja’. During these three days, ‘paan’ is sold like hot cakes.
For some, chewing ‘paan’ is an addiction. It is taken after meal or during leisure time. But during ‘Raja festival’, women and girls who aren’t in habit of chewing paan can’t deny themselves of chewing one. Men too savour one or two of this mouth freshener. To put it simply, old as well as young and men as well as women are found chewing ‘paan’ everywhere at shops, markets, malls and restaurants.
Well, before ‘Raja festival’, special stalls come up dotting markets and roadsides. They have flex banners prominently mentioning it that they are selling ‘Raja Paan’. They sell different types of paan like ‘sada paan’, ‘sweet paan’ etc.
There are some stalls that sell special varieties of Raja paan with silver foil packaging. They include fire paan, crushed ice paan and ayurvedic paan. During this festival, people, particularly girls, prefer paans of different flavours.
During this swing festival, a paan sells anything between Rs 10 and Rs 50. As ‘Raja paan’ has a special demand during the festival, a fierce competition is seen in the market with betel vendors always trying to introduce a new variety of ‘paan’ to do brisk business.