Sambalpur: Festive spirit gripped western Odisha today as people from all walks of life celebrated Nuakhai, the agrarian festival, with much zeal and zest.
Nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. People of the region worship their presiding deities during Nuakhai celebrations as a mark of gratitude for bumper crops, good rain and favourable weather for farming activities.
As per the tradition, the farmers offer the first grains of the harvest to the deity and then partake it. The head of the family worships the household deity and offers the rice and other food before distributing the prasad among the other members.
Customarily, all the family members sit and eat together on the occasion, while the people who work outside also visit their homes to celebrate the festival.
The first harvested crop was offered to goddess Samaleswari in Sambalpur between 10:56 am and 11:10 am (lagna), today.