Celebration of Nag Panchami
Important Aspects of Nag Panchami
This so called snake day has several important components. In addition to offerings made to the snakes throughout the country during worship and celebration, men and women celebrate the day in these waysCobras are bathed in milk and offered rice as this is thought to offer immunity from their bites.
Women often partake in early baths of milk and wear colourful saris.
Pots of milk and flowers are placed next to holes that are believed to contain snakes as an offering of devotion. If a snake actually drinks the milk it is thought to be the ultimate sign of good luck.
Mansa, the Queen of Snakes, is worshiped in most parts of Bengal during Nag Panchami.
In the Punjabi region, a large dough snake is created and then paraded around the village. The parade is colourful with plenty of singing and dancing at the end of the parade the snake is buried. Nag Panchami is referred to as Guga Navami in Punjab.
Snake charmers sit alongside the roads of Maharashtra and encourage women to offer milk, flowers and haldi kumkum (a powdered offering of tumeric and vermillion) to the dangerous snakes the snake charmers carry.
In many villages, snake charmers carry pots containing cobras to a central temple where they are released and then worshiped with offerings of milk and rice.
Mainly in the south of India, people worship figures of snakes made of clay or sandalwood as alternatives to the real life versions.
No Hindu home may fry anything on the day of Nag Panchami.
Girls who are hoping to marry believe that the cobra offers good luck in their quest for eternal happiness.