Bhubaneswar: Western Odisha began observing agrarian festival ‘Nuakhai’ with ‘Nabanna’ offered to Maa Samalei in the Samaleswari Tample at Sambalpur this morning. The Nabanna, rice prepared from newly harvested paddy, was offered at 8.14 am.
As per tradition, people have began conducting puja and offering Nabanna to the goddess in their respective houses after the Nabanna was offered to Maa Samaleswari. After eating Nabanna, people would observe Juhar Bhetghat (juniors offer Pranam to seniors and then they embrace each other as a mark of respect and affection).
Nuakhai is a mass festival in the entire western Odisha. People staying outside State come to their houses to observe the festival. They get gathered in families on this occasion. Apart from Nabanna, various kinds of cakes and sweets are offered to deities in houses. Cultural programmes are held during afternoon hours.
On this occasion, people pray to Maa Samaleswari for good harvest and prosperity.