Nuakhai is one of the biggest festivals of Western Odisha. The word 'Nua' means 'new' and 'Khai' is related to 'eating food'. Every year this day is celebrated by eating new food collected in the season, it's a harvest festival to celebrate after collecting rice crops from the field. Nuakhai is celebrated by wearing new dresses, eating new foods, getting blessings from elders by greeting Juhar(Namaskar), and much more. Let's try to find out something more about this festival and how it's important in the life and culture of western Odisha and its people.
When is it celebrated?
Every year Nuakhai is celebrated on the fifth day of the lunar fortnight of the month Bhadrava. The next day after Ganesh Chaturthi. Usually, it falls in August or September. In 2024 Nuakhai festival is on September 8th.
Where is it celebrated?
Even if it is popular as a festival of Western Odisha. Nuakhai is also celebrated in some parts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
In many places including major cities of India, Nuakhai Bhetghat celebrated where people come and gather together to meet each other after Nuakhai.
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People offer the food prepared for this day to their presiding deity at a particular time called lagan which was decided before by picking an auspicious moment from the day.
Celebration of the cultural festival
Before Nuakhai, people clean their houses and color it. Buy new dresses to wear. The idea is to use new things in Nuakhai.
Nuakhai is celebrated by being in the whole family, eating and celebrating together. So, people who live outside their home, come home for this festival.
On this day, food is served in leaf plates and bowls called Khali and Dana which are specially made from Kure patar or Mahul patar.
Variety of foods made for this day like Khiri, Arisha Pitha, Manda, Bubra, Bhat, Dal, And other Items. Women in the house take baths and make these dishes by adding the newly collected paddy from the season.
After preparing the food, People offer it to their presiding deity at the lagan time. After worshiping, the whole family sits and eats nua (the new food) together.
After eating, people take blessings from their presiding deity and then from elders by doing Nuakhai Juhar. They greet everyone around them happily, so it connects and refreshes the bonds between them.
After eating Nua, people visit their relatives or group together to meet, which is called Nuakhai Bhetghat.
Nuakhai Bhetghat is celebrated in most major cities all over India. Where people who are living in that city group together and celebrate by dancing and singing.
Nuakhai Wish and Greetings
"Nuakhai Juhar 🙏"
Here are some wishes and greetings you can share with your loved ones for Nuakhai.