‘Nag Panchami’ is a Hindu festival during which religious Hindu people worship live snakes or images of snakes. It is celebrated mainly in India and Nepal on the day of ‘Shrawan Shukla Panchami’ according to the lunar calendar. This year (2012), Nag Panchami was observed on 24th July.
Nag Panchami simply is the day of snakes. This day is greatly celebrated all over Nepal. On this day, Hindu Nepalese traditionally post pictures of Nags above the doors of their homes in belief of keeping off evil spirits. The posters are stuck with cow dung.
They worship the snakes by offering milk. People make cotton garlands, use cow dung and rice flour’s serpent’s form and worship it with cow’s milk, lava, barley, sesame, nuts and some other religious items. Also, A few men wearing demon masks dance in the streets as a part of a ritual.
It is believed that if Nag-Panchami is observed properly every year, the Nags provide us good health, wealth and blessings throughout our life. In Jainism and Buddhism also, snake is regarded as sacred and has divine qualities. It is believed that a Cobra snake saved the life of Buddha and another protected the Jain Muni Parshwanath.
Nag Panchami marks the beginning of Festivals in Nepal.
Learn more about other festivals celebrated in Nepal:
- Dashain and Tihar (Greatest festival of Nepalese)
- Saraswati Puja- The day for the deity of knowledge, art and music
- Maha Shivaratri- The Night of Lord Shiva
- What you need to know about Tihar?
- The Great Hindu Festival “Teej”
- Festival of Nepal- Indra Jatra
- Sonam Lhosar:The Festival of Tamang
- Tamu Lhosar: The greatest festival of Gurung
- Gai Jatra- A Nepali Festival
- Ghode Jatra-“The Horse Parade” festival of Nepal