Nuakhai and the Indian Tribes interesting facts

Sep 12, 2021 - 10:37

According to Singh, evidence can be found of the Nuakhai festival been observed by nearly all the major tribes in central and eastern India, with a minor difference in nomenclature.

Jeth Nawakhai is celebrated among the Dudh Kharia and Pahari Kharia, Nawakhani amongst the Oraon and Birjia, Jom Nawa among the Munda and Birjia, Janther or Baihar-Horo Nawai by the Santal, Gondli Nawakhani by the tribal people of Ranchi district, Nawa by the Birjia, Nawa-Jom by the Birhor, Dhan Nawakhani by Korwa, and so on.

Russel and Hiralal have mentioned the Nawakhani festival of the Paraja, a small tribe found in the Bastar region and Odisha . Gautam (1977) observed a new corn offering and rice eating festival of the Santals in Santal Pargana which they term Jom Nawa.

Das Gupta (1978) has noted the Nawa ceremony of the Birjia, a section of the Asura tribe of Chhotanagpur. Bhaduri (1944:149-50) presents a short note on the celebration of a festival of the Tripura known as Mikatal where Mi stands for rice and Katal means new.

It is celebrated in the month of Aswina (September–October).In the coastal districts of Odisha, the festival is called Nabanna by the caste-Hindus. Regardless of the name, the main objective of this festival is to get social sanction for the new crop and to invoke the deities to bless the land with abundant crops.

Nuakhai celebrated throughout India: Nuakhai is a cohesive and unified force between people of the Western Odisha living in Delhi, as they unite and celebrate together the occasion of Nuakhai.

People from the Odisha now living in Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat and Visakhapatnam have been celebrating Nuakhai in their new cities for the past few decades.

The modern Nuakhai festival, now being observed on the fifth day of the second fortnight of Bhadrava, was unquestionably given a new look of homogeneity and uniformity by various social organizations of Western Odisha, including the Odisha Government in 1991.

It has lost some of its enormity and variety with the passage of time, but Nuakhai is still an occasion that endorses the patrimonial nature of the Sambalpuri culture and society.

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