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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The major agrarian festival Nuakhai is being celebrated in western Odisha today in a subdued manner without any congregation in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the outset of the festival, ‘Nabanna’ (porridge prepared from new paddy crop) will be offered to the Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of western Odisha, to seek blessings for a bumper harvest.

As per the ‘lagna’ for the ritual fixed by the Pundit Mahasabha, the Nabanna will be offered to the Goddess between 10.15 am and 10.25 am today amid strict Covid guidelines in place.

Devotees will be allowed to have darshan of the Goddess at Samaleswari Temple following the ritual amid Covid guidelines between 12pm to 5.30 pm. Keeping the rush of the devotees in view, the temple administration has changed the timing for public darshan.

Following the ritual, family members and relatives will join for a get-together with a feast to mark the day. The head of the family will worship the household deity and offer ‘Prasad’ before distributing it among the other members. The younger members of the family will seek the blessings of the elder ones by offering ‘NuakhaiJuhar’. 

Though it has been decided by the organisers to have a low-key celebration this year, ‘Pahura’ procession was undertaken by the organising committee in Bolangir. With limited number of devotees, the procession covered the temples of Goddess Samaleswari, Pataneswari and other temples last night. 

It is worth mentioning that the agrarian festival is observed on the fifth day of the lunar fortnight and the day after Ganesh Chaturthi on Hindu month of Bhadraba.

BJP national Vice-President Baijayant Panda has greeted the people of Western Odisha on the occasion of this grand agrarian festival.


(Edited by Pradeep Singh)

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