Posted 03 September 2011, by Staff (Express News Service (The New Indian Express)), IBN Live (CNN (Time-Warner LLLP)), ibnlive.in.com
SAMBALPUR: The routine chores took a backseat and family reunion took precedence over everything else on the auspicious occasion of Nuakhai on Friday. Major economic activities in Sambalpur came to a standstill as it was celebration all the way from the temple to the homes in every nook and cranny of the town.
�The newly harvested rice (nabanna) was offered to Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, at the stipulated ‘lagna’ between 6.26 am and 6.40 am. During this period families also offered the ‘nabanna’ to their respective deities at home and Goddess Laxmi praying for rains, favourable weather and bumper crop in the coming season.
�Though an agrarian festival, it is celebrated by people from all sections of the society with equal fervour.
In households, elderly members worshipped paddy fields and cattle while womenfolk woke up much before the break of dawn to prepare goodies and traditional dishes like ‘Moong Bara’, ‘Ras Bara’, ‘Suji Manda’, ‘Chaul Manda’, ‘Kakra Pitha’, ‘Kheeri’ besides preparation from ‘Saru’ and ‘Saru Patra’ and bamboo shoots.
Devotees in droves thronged Samaleswari Temple to invoke blessings of Goddess.