Sambalpur: Western Odisha’s major festival Nuakhai is being celebrated with great gaiety and religious fervour today.
A large number of devotees thronged the temple of Maa Samaleswari, the presiding deity in Sambalpur, seeking the blessings of the Goddess.
The first harvested crop will be offered to Goddess Samaleswari during the Nabanna (new rice) ritual between 8.10 am and 8.40 am.
Later, the devotes will celebrate the festival with family members, relatives and friends with offering delicious dishes and food items.
On the occasion of Nuakhai today, Goddess Samaleswari in Sambalpur, Goddess Patneswari in Bolangir, Goddess Sureswari in Sonepur, Goddess Sekharbasisni in Sunderagrh and Goddess Manikeswari in Kalahandi will be worshipped today.
During the festival, the head of the family worships the household deity, offering rice and other food items. He then distributes the prashad among the family members. All family members take their food together on this occasion.
The ‘Nuakhai Bhetghat’, an event to organise dance, songs and different games, will be organised by various socio-cultural organisations to celebrate the occasion.
The festival is celebrated to welcome the new paddy crop.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik extended his wishes to the people of the state on this occasion.
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) September 14, 2018
Likewise, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also extended his wishes to the people.
ଗଣପର୍ବ ନୂଆଁଖାଇ ରେ ହାର୍ଦ୍ଦିକ ଶୁଭକାମନା । pic.twitter.com/ZL8ilOAX31
— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) September 14, 2018
OPCC President Niranjan Patnaik also joined Patnaik and Pradhan in wishing the people.
ସଭିଙ୍କୁ ନୂଆଁଖାଇ ଜୁହାର
ନୁଆଁଖାଇରେ ଆସନ୍ତୁ କରିବା ଏକ ନୂଆ ଓଡ଼ିଶାର ପରିକଳ୍ପନା pic.twitter.com/MG2200jM1z
— Niranjan Patnaik (@NPatnaikOdisha) September 14, 2018