Western Odisha braced up for Nuakhai Bhetghat today

Bhubaneswar: The much awaited day, Nuakahi, for the people of western districts came today with much pomp and gaiety. The major agrarian festival of western Odisha is being celebrated in every nook and corner of the western region collectively with much fanfare and religious fervor.
People offer the newly harvested crop called Nabanha to their respective presiding deities at a stipulated moment (Lagna) fixed earlier by the pundits. While Goddess Samaleswari is being worshipped in Sambalpur, Pateneswari in Bolangiri, Sureshwari in Sonepur, Sekharbasini in Sundargarh and Manikeswari in Kalahandi are offered the new crop. After offering the Nabanha, people relish different types of delicacies prepared from the newly harvested crop. The dishes include various cakes, beverages and some typical western food like Mug Bara, Ras Bara, Mug Mada, Suji Mada, Chaul Mada, Kakra Pitha, Kheeri, Makhan Sag (leaves of pumpkin creeper) and Kardi (bamboo shoots). 
Being an agrarian festival, the eldest in each household in rural pockets worshipped their paddy fields praying for bumper crop and favorable weather.
Women folk leave bed early to perform the Nukhai rituals with decorating the house with colorful rangoli. Children with new attire exchange greetings among their friends. The villagers exchange food items among themselves. In the evening, various socio cultural organizations make special arrangements for cultural programmes known as Bhetghat. Dance, song, drama and other cultural programmes are organized to celebrate the Nuakhai evening.
Meanwhile, CM Naveen Patnaik, PCC president Jayadev Jena and BJP president of Odisha unit KV Singhdeo have greeted the denizens of western Odisha on the occasion.