Sambalpur: Festivities gripped Western districts of the State today as the people celebrated Nuakhai, the agrarian festival of Western Odisha with much pomp and grandeur.
The ‘Nabanna’ or rice out of newly-harvested paddy crop was offered to Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur between 10:05 AM and 10:20 AM today.
As per rituals, after performing ceremonial bath and other rituals of Maa Samaleswari, the Goddess was draped in a new ‘patta’ and decked with ornaments. Following this, Nabanna was offered to the Goddess.
On the other hand, Nabanna rituals at Maa Samalei temple in Sundergarh were conducted at 8:50 AM.
As per the traditions of the annual fest, 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 farming community as they perform puja on their farmland to thank ‘Mother Earth’ for being so bountiful.