Nuakhai or Navakhai or is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of Western Odisha and Southern Chhattisgarh in India. Nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season.
Nuakhai Juhar, one of the most ancient festivals, is the agricultural festival celebrated in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and areas of neighbouring states to welcome the new crop of the season. It is also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat.
Nuakhai is a combination of two words signifies eating of new rice as ‘nua’ means new and ‘khai’ means eat.
- On this day, people worship food grain and prepare special meals. Farmers offer the first produce from their lands to Goddess Samaleswari, the famous ‘Mother Goddess‘ of Sambalpur district of Odisha.
Moreover, locals also organise several cultural programmes – folk songs and dances in their respective districts on this day to display the state’s local culture and tradition.
when nuakhai celebrate ?
According to the calendar it is observed on panchami tithi (the fifth day) of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada or Bhadraba (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. This is the most important social festival of Western Odisha and adjoining areas of Simdega in Jharkhand, where the culture of Western Odisha is much predominant.
How Nuakhai Is Celebrate ?
Nuakhai is a festival to welcome and celebrate newly harvested grains. People staying far off comes to their native place. They wear new clothes and offer prayers before the God and eat delicious foods prepared from the newly harvested crops.
Why Nuakhai Is Celebrate?
If we break the word Nuakhai, Nua means new and Khai means food. So, it is the festival of to celebrate newly harvested food by the farmers.
The principal thought of the festival can be followed back to the Vedic age when the rishis (sages) had talked of panchayajna. These are the 5 vital activities associated with calendar of an agricultural society.
These 5 activities are :
- Sita Yajna (the tilling of the land)
- Pravapana Yajna (the sowing of seeds)
- Pralambana Yajna (the initial cutting of crops)
- Khala Yajna (the harvesting of grains)
- Prayayana Yajna (the preservation of the seeds).
The Nuakhai is believed to evolved out of the third activity i.e. Pralambana Yajna, that involves first cutting of grown crop. The essence of this festival celebration is to offer man’s thanks to nature for the food it provides for our existence. There are many festivals celebrated across different region of india which relates to harvesting of crop. Most of the festival are celebrated only after the harvest of the crop but in Koshal region Nuakhai is celebrated much before the harvest of the crop. The Koshalis (western Odisha people) would really like to worship the deities (goddess samelei) and offered the first harvest crop seed (as a tribute) much before the seeds are consumed by any creature on earth, persons, beasts or the bird.
On which part of Odisha is the festival Nuakhai celebrated?
Specially in the Western Odisha Nuakhai is celebrated but western odisha peoples were lived various part of the world which leads to celebrate among different community now a days in the world.