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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nuakhai or Nuankhai (Odia Language: ନୂଆଖାଇ or ନୂଆଁଖାଇ and ନବାନ୍ନ) is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of Western Odisha in India.[5] Nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. According to the calendar it is observed on panchami tithi (the fifth day) of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada or Bhaadra (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. This is the most important social festival of Western Odisha and adjoing areas of Simdega in Jharkhand.

About the festival

Template:Paschim odisha's Nuakhai is also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat. The word nua means new and khai means food, so the name means the farmers are in possession of the newly harvested rice. The festival is seen as a new ray of hope, held the day after the Ganesha Chaturthi festival. It has a big significance for farmers and the agricultural community. The festival celebrated at a particular time of day which is called laganArsaa pithaa is prepared to celebrate this festival. When the lagan comes, the people first remember their village god or goddess and then have their nua.

Nuakhai is the agricultural festival of people of Western odisha. The festival is observed throughout Odisha, but it is particularly important in the life and culture of Western Odisha. It is a festival for the worship of food grain. It has its best celebration in the KalahandiSambalpurBalangirBargarhSundargarhJharsugudaSonepurBoudh and Nuapada districts of Odisha .

Ancient origin

According to local researchers Nuakhai is of fairly ancient origin. Some researchers found the fundamental idea of the celebration can be traced back at least to Vedic times when the rishis (sages) had talked of panchayajna, the five important activities in the annual calendar of an agrarian society.[6] These five activities have been specified as sitayajna (the tilling of the land), pravapana yajna (the sowing of seeds), pralambana yajna (the initial cutting of crops), khala yajna (the harvesting of grains) and prayayana yajna (the preservation of the produce). In view of this, Nuakhai may be seen as having evolved out of the third activity, namely pralambana yajna, which involves cutting the first crop and reverently offering it to the mother goddess.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuakhai

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