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Important Facts For Prelims

Nuakhai Juhar

  • 24 Aug 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

The Prime Minister of India greeted the farmers on the occasion of Nuakhai Juhar (23rd August, 2020).

Key Points

  • Nuakhai Juhar is an agricultural festival, also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat.
    • It is celebrated to welcome the new crop of the season.
    • Nuakhai is a combination of two words that signifies eating of new rice as ‘nua’ means new and ‘khai’ means eat.
  • This is the festival of Western Odisha, southern Chhattisgarh and adjoining areas of Simdega (Jharkhand).
    • Its coastal counterpart is Nabanna, observed in Coastal Odisha.
  • It is observed on panchami tithi (the fifth day) of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
    • Lagan is the fixed time of the day to celebrate the festival.
  • Festive Activities: Farmers offer the first produce from their lands to Goddess Samaleswari, the famous ‘Mother Goddess’ of Sambalpur district of Odisha.
    • Sambalpuri dance forms like Rasarkeli and Dalkhai can be witnessed.
  • Historical Background:
    • It is believed to have been adopted from the tribal communities of western Odisha.
      • As the preparations reveal elements of both tribal origins and the Hindu rituals.
    • Nuakhai festival traces its origin to the Vedic period in Panchyajna. One among them was Pralambana yajna which means the cutting of new crops and offering them to the mother goddess.
    • Oral tradition of this festival dates back to the 12th century A.D. when this festival was celebrated by Chauvan Raja Ramai Deo, Bolangir district of Odisha.

Source PIB

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