Three-day Nuakhai festival was celebrated in Western Odisha on Monday. As a tradition, people worship deities as a mark of gratitude for bumper crop and good rain.
The festival that began on August 23, is also marked in parts of Chhattisgarh.
On this day, the younger members of the family greet each other and seek blessings from their elders; the ritual is called Nuakhai Bhet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Governor of Odisha Prof Ganesh lal and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also greeted people on the occasion of Nuakhai.
This year, people celebrated it at home. Priests alone performed rituals at temples due to pandemic, all cultural programme and local folk dance programmes have been cancelled.
"This festival has been celebrated for many years. This time all the gathering in the temples is banned due to COVID-19, only priests are allowed to worship in the temple," Chief priest of Samaleswari Temple in Sambalpur told reporters.
( With inputs from ANI )
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