Jul 17, 2012

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Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami

The essence of Hindu culture and festivals is in worshiping the forces of nature in different modes.  Nag Panchami is one of such festivals.  Nag Panchami is celebrated on fifth day in the month of Shravana of the moonlit fortnight.  This is the period when snakes come out to seek shelter in gardens or houses due to rainy season.  Most of the snakes are non poisonous.  So they should not be killed unnecessarily.  May be for this reason snakes are worshiped on this day. This year Nag Panchami will be celebrated on 24th July.

 

Normally people celebrate this festival by visiting the temples specially dedicated to snakes and worshiping them with milk, flowers, rice.  In some places women worship the snakes which are supposed to be hiding in the holes of anthills.  In South India, people draw the images of snakes using cow dung and rangoli or flowers on either sides of the entrance of their houses to welcome god snake.  In Maharashtra, the family of snakes is drawn by mixing a fragrant powder (gandh), turmeric powder, sandal, saffron on the piece of wood {which is specially used only while performing religious rituals} and worshipped.

 

On this day, temples are crowded and worship is offered to metal and stone icons of Shesha or Anant.  In some places copper or silver altars are worshiped praying for the children and prosperity of the family.

Nag Panchami

 

 

Normally plaguing the fields or even doing any work with tool in farms is avoided on this day.  It is believed that at least on this day, one should not harm any snake.

 

Battis Shirala village is Maharashtra is very famous for Nag Panchami Festival.  There are almost sixty snake clubs in Battis Shirala and they display poisonous snakes during Nag Panchami Snake Festival. Competitions are held between snake clubs for the best Cobra.

 

This is also a festival of joy since many delicious recipes are prepared using rice and coconut on this day.

 

Nav Nag stotra is uttered while performing the puja and worshiping the snake.

Nag Panchami

 

 

 

 

 

 The essence of the festival lies in the fact that Nag Panchami is celebrated to keep the people close to Mother Nature.  It gives the message that every living being on the earth has its own importance and species need to co-exist peacefully to keep balance in Mother Nature. Human being is just a sub system and should interact in harmony with other living beings.

 

Keep away from misconceptions about snakes on this day and know the facts—

 

  • On this day snake charming does not pay tribute to these fascinating serpant.
  • Express your compassion with them by reporting about snake collectors or snake charmers to authorities.
  • Do not capture them and keep them in suffocating and tiny bags because of which they may be starved.
  • As per Wild life Protection Act 1972, it is a crime to catch or exploit snakes for business purposes or to own them.
  • Milk is not a part of natural diet of snakes, so such offering on this day to real snakes may cause dehydration or allergic reactions to them.
  • One more misconception is snakes sway to music which is not at all correct.  They are deaf but they spread their hoods and follow the movements of charmers as defense and with fear.

 

Citizens can report about snake charmers on +91-98-100-540-77  PETA number or can even launch complaint under Wild Life Protection Act 1972.

 

 

Some sample designs (Rangoli) which you may draw on the entrance of your house on auspicious day of Nag Panchami.

Nag Panchami

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