Bhubaneswar: Festivities gripped Western parts of the State today as the people celebrated Nuakhai, the agrarian festival of Western Odisha with much pomp and grandeur.
As per the 'Lagna', the season’s first crop 'Nabanna' was offered to Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, between 8:10 am and 8:40 am today.
"The rituals started at 4 am. After performing ceremonial bath and other rituals of Maa Samaleswari, the Goddess was draped in a new 'patta' and decked with ornaments. Later, Nabanna was offered to the Goddess," informed a servitor of the temple.
On this pious occasion, devotees made a beeline outside the Samaleswari Temple to witness the ‘Nabanna Lagi’ ceremony and offer puja to the Goddess.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu and many leaders cutting across party lines greeted the people of Odisha wishing happiness and prosperity in everyone’s lives.
PM Modi extended his wishes to the people of Odisha through his twitter post.
ପବିତ୍ର ନୂଆଁଖାଇ ଅବସରରେ ଓଡିଶାର ମୋର ପ୍ରିୟ ଭାଇ ଓ ଭଉଣୀମାନଙ୍କୁ ହାର୍ଦ୍ଦିକ ଶୁଭକାମନା । ଏହି ଉତ୍ସବ ଆମ ସମାଜରେ ଆନନ୍ଦ ଓ ପ୍ରଗତି ଆଣିଦେଉ ଏଥିପାଇଁ ଭଗବାନଙ୍କ ନିକଟରେ ପ୍ରାର୍ଥନା । ନୂଆଁଖାଇ ଜୁହାର !
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 14, 2018
Similarly, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said, "The festival reminds us of the important role of agriculture in our lives from time immemorial. Let us salute farmers of the country on this auspicious day and take a pledge to improve their lot,"
The festival reminds us of the important role of agriculture in our lives from times immemorial. Let us salute farmers of the country on this auspicious day and take a pledge to improve their lot.. May this festival bring cheer, joy, prosperity and happiness to all! #NuakhaiJuhar
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) September 14, 2018
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik extended wishes to the people by tweeting in Sambalpuri.
ନୂଆଁ ଧାନ୍ ସାଙ୍ଗେ ନୂଆଁ ଆଶା ନେଇକରି ପାଲନ୍ କରୁନ୍ ଇ ଭାଇଚାରାର୍ ପରବ୍ ନୂଆଁଖାଇ। ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କର୍ ସୁଖ ଆର୍ ସମୃଦ୍ଧି କାମନା କରୁଛେଁ। ସଭିଙ୍କୁ ମୋର୍ ନୂଆଁଖାଇ ଜୁହାର୍। #NuakhaiJuhar pic.twitter.com/gmMgMkZooQ
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) September 14, 2018
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda also took to twitter to greet the people on the occasion.
ଗଣପର୍ବ ନୂଆଁଖାଇ ରେ ହାର୍ଦ୍ଦିକ ଶୁଭକାମନା । pic.twitter.com/ZL8ilOAX31
— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) September 14, 2018
Greetings from @PandaJay on #Nuakhai
It’s a festival of new cultivation, new hopes & aspirations of the people in #Odisha. Farmers offer the first produce from their lands to goddess Samaleswari, to whom the festival is dedicated. May her blessings be with all.#NuakhaiJuhar ? pic.twitter.com/WZiA8z73RV
— Office of Jay Panda (@mp_office) September 14, 2018
Acclaimed sand animator Sudarsan Pattnaik too came up with a sand sculpture at the Puri sea beach to wish the people of Odisha on Nuakhai.
#NuakhaiJuhar: Acclaimed sand animator @sudarsansand has come up with a sculpture at the #Puri sea beach wishing people of #Odisha on the auspicious occasion of #Nuakhai pic.twitter.com/GhKMw1w4dj
— OTV (@otvnews) September 14, 2018
Panda also visited Titlagarh to participate in a Nuakhai feast.
Was in Titlagarh in western Odisha for a traditional #Nuakhai feast. The offering of the first grain & the hearty Odia food (check out the bowls of sewn fresh leaves!) was totally yum. & the love & affection i received, especially from youth, unforgettable! #JayTitlagarh ???? pic.twitter.com/sCWng5Wxlp
— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) September 14, 2018
As per the tradition, the head of the family worships the presiding deity and offers new rice, peetha, kheer and other delicacies. The Prasad is then distributed among the family members, who then consume the new food grain together.
The festival also bears significance among the farmer community as they perform puja on their farmland to thank ‘Mother Earth’ for being so bountiful.