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 The famous festival “Nua Khai” is the agricultural festival of the people of Western Odisha in India.

Nua Khai is the agricultural festival of the people of Western Odisha in India. The festival is observed throughout Odisha. Nua Khai and Nabakhai is a renowned agricultural festival of Odisha celebrated to welcome the arrival of new rice crops of the season.

Nuakhai Festival in Western Odisha-
Nuakhai Festival in Western Odisha-

 The word Nua Khai means Nua (New) Khai means (food). So the name itself means farmers are in possession of the newly harvested rice. NuaKhai festival is referred to as “Nuakhai Bhetbhat” or “NuaKhai Parba”.

It is celebrated on Panchami tithe(fifth day) of the lunar fortnight of Bhadraba month( August-September) just after the Ganesh Chaturthi in Indian State. Nuakhai is the agricultural festival of the people of Western Odisha.

The festival is observed throughout Odisha, but it is particularly important in the life and culture of Western Odisha. It is a festival for the worship of food grain. This festival best celebration in the Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Balangir, Bargarh, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sonepur, Boudh and Nuapada districts of Odisha.

 History of NuaKhai festival:-


Since the Vedic era, this festival is celebrated from its existence is from the 12th century.

During the region of Raja Remain Doe, he discovered that surplus crops are very important for the prosperity of the state, so he started celebrating the NuaKhai festival in the Sambalpuri region in order to motivate the people to invest in the field of sustainable agriculture.

 In earlier days there was no specific day to celebrate this festival, during that time the  Kharif crops when began to ripe, were offered to the village deity. The village priest used to suggest a day to observe Nuakhai, later the festival became the major socio-religious event in Westen Odisha in India.

Celebrating Mother earth:-

Nuakhai festival in Western Odisha-4
Nuakhai festival in Western Odisha-

The festival is meant to celebrate the soil, its science that produces food for us, and that ecology that keeps the soil healthy. This is a great festival to respect the farmer. A farmer is not necessarily the one who owns the land, but all those who are involved in the entire farming cycle stating from preparing the land for cultivation to harvesting the crop. That is the reason even the landless labourers celebrate the Nuakhai festival with great enthusiasm.

Nuakhai is the occasion where the tribal people dedicated their fast food gain of the year to their deity to get her blessing. The ritual of Nua Khai is first observed at the temple of the reigning deity of the area or the village deity.

Afterwards, the people worship in their respective homes and offer rituals to their domestic deities. Maha Lakshmi ( the deity of wealth) thereafter follows the Nuakhai Juhar, which is the exchange of greetings with friends, well-wishers and relatives. This symbolizes unity among the people.

 Nine rituals are observed in Nuakhai:-


 Nuakhai is understood to have nine colours, hence nine sets of rituals are followed as a prelude to the actual day of celebration of Nuakhai.

The preparations of the Nuakhai festival commence about 15 days before the actual date of the Nuakhai festival and the elderly villagers assemble together at a sacred area after calling the villagers by the blowing of the trumpet.

  1. Beheren (announcement of meeting to the set the date).
  2. Lagna Dekha (setting the exact date for partaking of the new rice).
  3. Daka haka (People are invited to partaking in the new harvest).
  4. Sapna Sutra and Lipa Pochha (Cleaning the house performed before the festival).
  5. Kina Bika (Purchasing of things required for the festival)
  6. Nua Dhana Khoja (Looking for new crop in the fields).
  7. Bali Paka (Final resolve for Nuakhai by taking Prasad and offering the Deity). 8. Nuakhai (Eating the new crop as Prasad after offering the deity, followed by dancing and singing).
  8. Juhar Bhetbhat (Respect to the elders and gift transfer and get blessings from in return.

 Deities that are offered Nua harvest crops:-

 Every year the tithi(day ) and Samaya (time) of observance was astrologically determined by the Hindu priests.The( tithi)date and Lagna (auspicious moments) were calculated in the name of Patneswari Devi at Balangir – Patnagarh area, in the name of Saraswati Devi in the Saharanpur area and in the name of Manikaswari Devi in Kalahandi District.

In Sundargarh the Puja(worship) was offered by the Royal family to the goddess Sekhabasani in the temple which is opened only for Nuakhai. In Sambalpur District at the stipulated Lagna (auspicious moment), the head priest of Samaleswari temple offers the Nua anna or nabanna to the goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur.

 Rituals of Nuakhai:-

In the 1960s there was an attempt made to set a common tithi for the Nuakhai festival all over Western Odisha. It was decided this was not a workable idea.

The idea was introduced in the year 1991 to set Bhadraba Sukla Panchami tithi for the Nuakhai festival. Since then the festival is celebrated on that day. The Odisha Government declared the official holiday.

Nuakhai is celebrated at both at the community and domestic level. The rituals are first observed at the temple of the reigning deity of the area or to the village deity.

Afterwards, the people worship in their respective homes and other rituals to their domestic deity and to Laxmi, the deity of wealth in the Hindu tradition. People wear new clothes for this occasion. It is a tradition that after offering the nua to the presiding deity.

The eldest member of the family distributes Nua to other members of the family.

After taking the nua, all the junior members of the family offer their regards to their elders. Thereafter follows the nuakhai Jauhar, which is an exchange of greetings with friends, relatives and well-wishers.

 This symbolizes unity. In the evening folk dances and songs are organised called “ Nuakhai bhetghat”.People dance foot tapping Sambalpuri dance forms like Rasarkali,Dalkhai,Maelajada,Chutkuchuta,Sajani,Nachnia and Bajnia.

Nuakhai celebrated throughout India:-


Nuakhai is the cohesive and unified force between people of the Western Odisha living in Delhi, as the unity and celebrate together the occasion of Nuakhai.

People from Odisha now living in Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, Surat & Visakhapatnam.

They celebrate the Nuakhai in their new cities for the past few decades. The modern nuakhai festival is now being observed on the fifth day of the second fortnight of Bhadrava.

The various social organisation of Western Odisha including the Government of Odisha organise this festival since 1991 on the fifth day of the Bhadraba month of the Hindu calendar.

On the day of Nuakhai, people were new clothes of the traditionally Sambalpuri fabric are bought for all the family members. It is the day of the year when family members living in different cities and towns and make it a point to return to their native place.

Village bustle with activity with friends and relatives, getting to meet each other after one full year. The members of the extended family, if staying in separate households gather in their ancestral place.

Early on the day of “Nabanna” or the first harvest paddy is offered to the local deity of the region. The occasion sees the preparation of the two most loved delicacies of the place Pitha and Mitha. Sweet dishes like arisa, kaka, manda, chkuali, mug Bara and kheer are prepared.

 Non-vegetarian dishes especially mutton curry is cooked and taken with rice. Popular folk dance forms like dalkhai, rasarkali,maelajada, bajnia nachnia and chutkuchuta are performed on the foot-tapping beats of traditional music like dhol, tassaa, and the melodious Sambalpuri song. Nuakhai is a festival that promotes mutual harmony and brotherhood among the people.


1. Question:-Who celebrates Nua Khai in India?

1.Answer:-It is celebrated 1day  after the  celebrations  of Ganesh Chaturthi.Nua Khai is the crop festival of western odisha people.This festival observe by all western odisha people  to welcome the new rice  of the season.Nua Means New  Khai means  food.  

2.Question:-What is Nua khai in Odia ?

2.Answer:-Nua Khai is the Agricultural festival  of people  of western odisha.This festival is observed throughout the odisha.It is the important of western odisha people life and culture.

3. Question:-How Nua Khai celebrate?

3.Answer:-The New Harvest crop is worshipped  and people  celebrate  by eating  the first  rice  of the harvest  together with family.Nua khai Juhar is sharing  gifts  with  dear ones , wishing them  on the occasion  and coming together  as family  symbolizes unity.

4.Question:-What is the dat of fest of Nua khai in 2022?

4.Answer:-September1, 2022 is the festival date of Nua khai in 2022.

5.Question:-Is Nua Khai a Holiday in Odisha?

5.Answer:-In Odisha Government  list  the day of festival  is mentioned as holiday.

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I am Ajay Kumar Patra. ( & MBA-Finance) with 27years of Accounts & Taxation Experience in Large Manufacturing Units in India. In 2021 I started my own tax consultancy firm called “Ajay Tax consultant”. I started my Digital marketing on my website "".I have already published more than 100 Blogs on Business, Finance, startups, Digital marketing & Tours & Travel for my viewers.

3 thoughts on “A Famous Festival of Western Odisha is “Nua Khai” in India.”
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