Western Odisha on 6 September 2016 celebrated the festival of Nuakhai, the agrarian festival of the region, with religious fervour.
The celebrations began with the Nabanna in which the newly harvested rice was offered to Goddess Samaleswari as per the stipulated Lagna, the auspicious moment. The deity was adorned with new saree and ornaments on the occasion.
Later, people offered Nabanna to their presiding deities.
About Nuakhai Festival
• Nuakhai is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of Western Odisha in India to welcome the new rice of the season.
• The festival was dedicated to Goddess Samaleswari in Sambalpur while Patneswari in Balangir, Sureshwari in Subarnapur and Sekharbasini in Sundargarh are worshipped.
• According to the Hindu calendar, it is observed on panchamitithi (the fifth day) of the lunar fortnight of the month of August–September, the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
• Families offer the Nabanna to their respective presiding deity and Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth) as a mark of gratitude for bumper harvest, good rain and favourable farming weather.
• Being an agrarian festival, the eldest in the family of each household in rural pockets worship their paddy fields and cattle.
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