Western Odisha gears up for ‘Nuakhai’ festival

Bolangir: Western Odisha is all set to celebrate the agrarian festival of the region ‘Nuakhai’, the ‘lagna’ of which has been fixed for September 14.

As per tradition, people will offer Nabanna, the newly harvested paddy, to Goddesses Samaleswari Devi and later to their presiding deities on Nuakhai.

Markets in several parts of Bolangir and Sonepur  have already got decked up for the festival and people can be seen selling and buying traditional items like ‘kula’, ‘bhuga’, ‘tupa’, ‘dana’ and others. Besides, items made of clay like ‘handi’ and ‘dipa’ which are also used during the festival are now in demand.

“We offer Nabanna to Maa Samleshwari and then celebrate the day with different types of sweets and other items,’ said a local resident from Bolangir.

“Nabanna is first offered to Maa Samleshwari then people take it to their home and distribute it among family members. On the auspicious day, people also pray for good harvest and prosperity,” said a local priest.

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In Sonepur, several groups have now started special rehearsals for programmes. The groups can now being found practising dance on the rhythmic beats of traditional instruments of dhol, nisan and muhuri ahead of the harvest festival of Nuakhai.

“Nuakhai is our traditional festival and we want to celebrate it with our traditional dance. We are practising dance to perform on the occasion. Besides, we will be performing at other places in Odisha,” said a dancer.

Moreover, the agrarian festival of the region has the charm of its own as all the members of the family, irrespective of where they are, congregate on the day and celebrate the festival together. Youngsters in the family also seek the blessings of the elders setting aside all the differences.

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