Nuakhai Juhar : The Harvesting Festival of Paschim Odisha

Nuakhai is a major festival celebrated by farmers of Western Odisha. On this day nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season.

The Nuakhai festival is being celebrated other state on Odisha. But the festival is celebrated mainly in Western Odisha. Odisha is also known as Kosali. Hence this festival is also known as Kosali festival.

Important things about Nuakhai festival :-

Maa samaleswari
Maa Samaleswari

Nuakhai is called Nuakhai Bhetghat or Nuakhai Parab. Nuakhai is the best celebration in the Sambalpur , sundargarh , balangir, sonepur, jharsuguda, kalahnadi, nuapada and boudh districts of Odisha.

Nuakhai generally falls during the months of August and September, where it is celebrated just a day after Ganesh charturthi.

As per the tradition Navanna (newly harvested rice) was offered to Maa Samaleswari the presiding deity of Sambalpur.

Sambalpuri dance
Sambalpuri Dance

The nine colors of Nuakhai :-

  1. Beheren (Announcement of a meeting to set the date)
  2. Lagan Dekha
  3. Dakahaka (invitation)
  4. Safa sutra & lipa pocha (cleanliness)
  5. Ghina bika (purchasing)
  6. Nuadhan khuja (looking for the new crop)
  7. Bali paka (the prasad offering to the deity)
  8. Nuakhai (eating new crop as prasad after offering to the deity)
  9. Juhar bhet (respect to elder)
Nuakhai Pooja
Nuakhai Pooja

The word “Nua” means “New” and “khai” means “food“. So the name means the farmer are in possession of the newly harvested rice. The festival celebrated at a particular time of day which is called “LAGAN“.

Arsa pitha is prepared to this festival. When the lagan comes the peoples first remember their village god or goddess and have their Nua.

Every year the “Tithi (day) and Samaya (time)” of observance was astrologically determined by hindu Pandit. Worshipper set together at the Brahmapura Jagannath temple in Sambalpur and calculated the day and time.

The Tithi and lagna were calculated in the name of Pataneswari devi in the balangir patnagarh area, in the name of sureswari devi in the subarnapur area and in the name of Manileswari devi in the kalahandi area.

Nuakhai food
Nuakhai food

The event begins 15days before the nuakhai festival arrived. People who living away from home, on this occasion they are returning home to celebrate this nuakhai festival with everyone.

On the day of Nuakhai festival different types of food which is offered as a “Prasad” to everyone after offering to the first Dietees. All the elders and youngers of the house together eat food in one place. Then all comes together to seek blessing of the elder.

Nuakhai Bhetghat
Nuakhai Bhetghat

Odisha is a land of festival where has a lot of different religions and people of different language.

There are many different types of festival celebrated in Odisha. Among them very popular festival on NUAKHAI celebrated Western Odisha.

NUAKHAI is an age old harvest celebration in Western Odisha. On this occasion people exchange greetings with friends, relatives and well-wisher.

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