Cheerless Nuankhai

Nuankhai is the main festival of tribal dominated western Orissa comprised of Balangir , Bargarh , Boudh , Deogarh , Jharsuguda , Kalahandi , Nuapada , Sambalpur , Sonepur , Sundargarh , and Aathmallik sub-division of Angul Dist. It is celebrated on the next day to Ganesh chaturthi. This festival displays the vibrant culture, heritage and occupation of western Orissa. Nuankhai is not a harvesting festival like the other Indian harvesting festivals viz. Onam, Pongal, Bihu, and Baisakhi. During Nuankhai the first grain is given as a “bhoga” to the presiding local deity viz. Sureswari, Samaleswari, Khambeswari, Maheswari, Bhairabi, Mauli, Kali, Shiva, and Jagannath. The grain used as “bhoga” is never the harvested grain. After giving “bhoga” to god and goddess, the people wish each other which is known as “Nuankhaibhet” (English: Nuakhai greetings).