Sharmili Mallick

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.

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,"

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik extended wishes to the people by tweeting in Sambalpuri.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda also took to twitter to greet the people on the occasion.

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.

Panda also visited Titlagarh to participate in a Nuakhai feast.

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.