Nag Panchami is an auspicious festival on which snakes are worshipped. Nag Panchami falls in the Hindu month of Sravana which is a sacred month of Hindus. Read on to know more about the significance of Nag Panchami and how Nag Panchami is celebrated throughout India.
Hindu is a religion where a number of Gods and Goddesses are worshiped. There are reasons and intentions behind every festival. Worship and festival means way of life and fellowship of faiths. Nag Panchami is a festival in which snakes are worshiped.
Nag Panchami comes in the month of August and according to Hindi calendar it is Sravana. People worship even live snakes at some places and offer milk to them as well. Most of the people visit the temple of Lord Shiva or Nag Devta and offer milk, flower and rice as well.
Significance of Nag Panchami
In addition to many mythologies, there is a logical belief too behind worshiping snakes. Snakes are known for their secret wisdom and knowledge as well as for their mortal nature too. In addition to this, there are some signs of negativity too like possessiveness, bitterness and greed. So by worshiping the snakes on Nag Panchami, people try to control their negative feelings to get stronger and help positive ones to come out.
There is a myth that prevails in the minds of Hindus that they can get cursed by the Serpent God if they did something wrong in their lives. So, by offering milk on the day of Nag Panchami, they try to ask forgiveness and apologize for their known and unknown wrong doings.
Nags or Cobras are also considered as caretakers of many hidden treasure. In some places this treasure is referred to knowledge while at many places it means real treasure consisting of wealth and jewelry. By worshiping them they pray for treasure of knowledge and wisdom.
Initially snakes were considered as violent, poisonous and deadly. By offering them milk on Nag Panchami, people request them to spare their lives as well as protect their family members too. Even today, many Hindus believe that by worshiping Nag Devta on this auspicious day they can spare their families from snake bite.
All main Hindu Gods have connection with Nags - Lord Vishnu rests on Sheshanaga, Lord Shiva has nag snakes all round his neck and Ganesha wears a snake in place of belt.
Celebration of Nag Panchami
Fast - Usually women do fast on this day and they do not take anything till sunset. Even after that they take pure vegetarian food avoiding any kind of fried food that day. Kheer and milk is offered as Prasad to the family members and those who keep the fast eat Kheer after sunset.
Worshiping - People worship Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya and Snake God exclusively this day.
Celebration - The festival of Nag Panchami is celebrated with devotion and belief and not with pomp and show. Women draw snakes on the walls and offer milk, ghee, water and rice.
Donations - People donate food, milk and Kheer to poor. Those who are rich donate money to charity and food to poor. Some give gifts and Dakshina to Brahmins and priests. Some even offer silver jewelry to the snakes in temples.
Nag Panchami is celebrated in slightly different ways in different states of India. The Indian mythology is full of stories and there are some stories behind this festival also. You will find temples of snake God, Lord Shiva and many other gods crowded with devotees on this day. People have strong beliefs and devotion that if they worship snakes on this day and feed them with milk, they and their families will be saved from snake bite always.