BHAWANIPATNA: The agrarian festival of Nuakhai was celebrated with traditional fervour in Bahadurpadar and Patharla areas of Kalahandi district on Monday.The festival is celebrated in phases in the district beginning with celebration at Bahadurpadar and Patharla. It is believed to have started during the reign of Maharaja Fatenarayan Deo. In 1850, the tribal chiefs helped the king in a war.
Pleased with their service, the king wanted to reward them. Instead of asking for material gifts, the tribal chiefs requested the Maharaja to allow them to offer Nabanna (new rice) to their presiding deity first on
Nuakhai. The king allowed them to do so as a mark of gratitude and ever since, the tribals are allowed to offer Nabanna to the deity.
On the occasion of Rusi Panchami on September 14, different villages of the district will celebrate Nuakhai and on September 19, Nabanna will be offered to Goddess Manikeswari at Bhawanipatna.
Nuakhai will also be celebrated in Bhawanipatna, Thuamul Rampur, M Rampur, Lanjigarh and Jaipatna on the day.