" People greet each other, which is known as Nuakhai Juhar, a solemn occasion when people are asked to forget enmity and ego. "
Bhubaneswar, Aug 30 - People in Odisha Saturday celebrated the agricultural festival Nuakhai with enthusiasm, offering the first harvest of the season to god.

The aim of the festival is to express man's gratitude to nature and reverence to god for a good harvest, Ranjan Panda, an activist based in Sambalpur told IANS.

People offered prayers at Samaleswari temple in the morning in the district headquarters town of Sambalpur, about 320 km from Bhubaneswar.

Similar offerings were made at Patmeswari temple in Bolangir district and Sureswari temple in Subarnapur.

After the first harvest is offered to the gods and goddesses, the senior member of the family distributes 'nabarna' (rice cooked from the new harvest) to the rest of the family members.

People greet each other, which is known as Nuakhai Juhar, a solemn occasion when people are asked to forget enmity and ego.

Nuakhai is an occasion when you see everybody wearing new clothes and each family cooking many dishes, Panda said.


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