The principal agrarian festival of western Odisha Nuakhai is being celebrated today. Though the festival is celebrated with fervour every year, this year it has been a muted affair in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the Nuakhai festival, the presiding deity of western Odisha, Goddess Samaleswari is offered worship. As per rituals, a porridge prepared from new paddy crop, which is called ‘Nabanna’ will be offered to Goddess Samaleswari and blessing is sought for a bumper harvest.
As per the ‘lagna’ for the ritual fixed by the Pundit Mahasabha, the Nabanna was offered to the Samaleswari Goddess between 10.15 AM and 10.25 AM today. Family member and relatives celebrate the festival by worshipping the household deity.
Prasad is offered and distributed among the family members, who also get together for a feast. ‘Nuakhai Juhar’ is also an iconic gesture associated with the festival through which the younger members of the family seek the blessings of the elder.
As per the guidelines issued, Devotees will be allowed to have darshan at the Goddess at Samaleswari Temple from 12pm to 5.30 pm. However, the darshan will be allowed with strict adherence to the Covid guidelines. Keeping in view the large congregation of devotees, the temple administration has changed the timing for public darshan.
Published: Diptiranjita Patra
Last updated: 11 September 2021, 12:02 PM IST
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