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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nuakhai - Important festival of Kalahandi

The most important festival of western orissa,comprising the districts of sambalpur,Bolangir,Kalahandi,Sudergarh and some area of Phulbani is Nuakhai.
Generally it takesplace in the bright half of the month Bhadrab or Bhadraba on an auspicious day that is fixed by the astrologers. In the ex-state arears the date is fixed according to the instructions of the ruling chiefs.

Nuakhai is a festival and celebration of happiness. Preparations starts a fortnight prior to the day,most of the houses are cleaned,neatly plastered and decorated by the housewives.On this occasion peoples old and young wear new clothes,different types of local sweets and foods are cocked. All the family members are assembled together, after offering the new rice to the deity they all set together and take the new rice, along with different types of Manda-Pitha Khiri-Puri etc., After finishing the food they take the blessing of the Istha-Devi and from other elders of the family. In the evening it is habitual and obligatory to have meat, as it is believes that one who does not eat meat on the Nuakhai day, shall born as a heron in his future birth. What ever may be the fact it is a celebration of the mass. People forget their personal differences and greet each other in this point of view Nua-Khai is not just welcoming the new rice-paddy it is a festival which welcomes general happiness and mass development of the society. People may stay in far of lands, for there livelihood, but in the Nuakhai they must come to celebrate this festival with other members of the family with pageantry.

Thought the festival is intended for eating new rice of the year.It is observed as a general festival.Meeting friends and relatives,singing,dancing and merry-making are the parts of this festival.Onthis occasion the new rice is cooked with milk and sugar and then offered as Bhog to goddess Laxmi.Then the eldest member of the family distributes the same to other members.