Bolangir, Sept 2 (LocalWire): With barely few hours left for Nuakhai ritual to be celebrated, the rising cost of vegetables and Sariaan paddy is picking holes in people’s pocket.
Sariaan dhaan (paddy) is essential for Nuakhai, an agricultural festival observed by the people of the eastern state of Odisha, a day after Ganesh Chaturthi.
This festival is celebrated essentially to welcome the season’s first rice crop.
‘This year this particular variety of paddy was damaged twice.
First, due to a near-drought-like situation in June and then due to heavy rainfall in the middle of August raising its price,’ said Hira Meher of Athagaon village.
‘This variety of paddy was collected from the interiors of Patnagarh this year.
The ripened Sariaan paddy reveals it must have been sowed in a field near the mountains which was not affected by the rains,’ said a seller who sold a tiny bundle of the variety of paddy for an exorbitant price of Rs 10.
Earlier, people used to collect paddy from their fields and used it during the rituals of Nuakhai festival but this year people have been forced to purchase it from the market, she added.
Sariaan dhaan grows in Att land (upland). Farmers broadcast this paddy in June and it is ready by the last week of August or first week of September.
Farmers used to reap the paddy and offer it first to their titular deity as mark of gratitude and then cook the paddy and eat it with family members.
This offering of new Annan (new grain) to the family’s titular deity is naabarnna and thereafter the mass as Nuakhai bhet ghat is held where juniors pay their respect to their elders and seek their blessings.