Important Places of Observance
Sambalpur, Bolangir, Sundargarh, Kalahandi & Phulbani
Falls In :
The bright half of the month of Bhadrab or Bhadra (August - September)
Time for the Festivity
The most significant festival of western Orissa comprising the districts of Sambalpur, Bolangir, Sundargarh, Kalahandi and some areas of Phulbani, is "Nuakhia". Generally it takes place in the bright half of the month of 'Bhadrab' or 'Bhadra' on a propitious day fixed by the astrologers. In the ex-State areas the date is fixed according to the commands of the ruling Chiefs.
The people in general eagerly look forward for the festival and preparation starts before a fortnight. Most of the houses are cleaned, neatly plastered and decorated by the housewives. On this occasion old and young, all wear new clothes.
Though the festival is intended for eating new rice of the year, it is observed as a general festival. Meeting of friends and relatives, singing, dancing and merry-making is parts of the festival. On this occasion the new rice is cooked with milk and sugar ('Kshiri') and then offered as 'Bhog' to Goddess