As far as I am aware of the Ritu Samskara performed at the onset of menstruation of a girl is usually depended on various local traditions and one may not find any details about it in smritis.

Yet, I would like the learned members to share-

  1. If any secondary literature gives any details about the ritual.
  2. Any details about in which different regions of India it is celebrated and how it is celebrated there.

Anecdotal explanations will be appreciated as well.

  • 1
    I know one verse in manu smriti which talks about doing upnayana ceremony for girls without reciting mantras aloud at the appropriate age for all dwija varnas, but I don't think there is any thing as Ritu Samskara. Neither I have seen it being performed ceremoniously, perhaps this is performed secretly by women with their girl child due to western influence. btw how do you know about ritu samskara?.
    – Yogi
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 13:34
  • It is mostly practiced, especially in South India, according to local traditions(and without mantras). Commented May 17, 2016 at 0:52

1 Answer 1


The first ritu is celebrated in many cultures and also praised in the tantric literature. Various communities in different region celebrate this in a positive way. Its equivalent samskara for a boy is keshAnta/first shaving.

In many south Indian and East Indian states, the first menstruation of the girl is celebrated by the family. It is known as ritushuddhi or ritu kaala samskara.

Ritushuddhi is a Hindu samskara associated with a girl’s first menstruation. Hindus in India tend to view first menstruation or menarche, as a positive aspect of a girl's life. This samskara is usually the 13th of hindu samskara. For boys, a similar samskara is conducted which is called keshAnta samskAra (first shaving of the beard).

This milestone in a girl's life is observed by her family and friends, with gifts and her wearing a sari for the ritual.The rite of passage is celebrated, in modern times, as a "half-saree party" where the female relatives and friends of the girl gather, and she receives and wears a half-saree and other gifts. Thereafter, at ceremonious events, she wears the half-sarees, until her marriage when she puts on a full sari.

In the state of Orissa, Menstruation and womanhood is celebrated every year in a very grand manner as a four day fest across the state.

Raja or Raja Parba or Mithuna Sankranti is a three-day-long festival and the second day signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna from, which the season of rains starts. It inaugurates and welcomes the agricultural year all over Odisha, which marks, through biological symbolism, the moistening of the sun dried soil with the first showers of the monsoon in mid-June thus making it ready for productivity

It is believed that the mother goddess Earth or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu undergoes menstruation during the first three days. The fourth day is called as Vasumati gadhua or ceremonial bath of Bhudevi. The term Raja has come from Rajaswala (meaning a menstruating woman) and during medieval period the festival became more popular as an agricultural holiday remarking the worship of Bhudevi, who is the wife of lord Jagannath. A silver idol of Bhudevi is still found in Puri Temple aside Lord Jagannatha.

During the three days women are given a break from household work and time to play indoor games. Girls decorate themselves with new fashion or traditional Saree and Alatha in feet. All people abstain from walking barefoot on earth. Generally various Pithas are made of which Podopitha,and Chakuli Pitha are main. People play a lot of indoor and outdoor games. Girls play swings tied on tree branches whereas aged ladies play Cards and Ludo. Many villages organise Kabbadi matches among young men. Apart from Indian culture, the first menses are also celebrated in various cultures of the world such as:

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