Nag Panchami is one of the unique festivals in India. At this Hindu festival, people perform traditional worship of Nagas or Snakes in India, Nepal, and other south Asian countries with Hindu populations. Naga Panchami is celebrated in the Lunar month of Shravana that mostly falls in July or August.
Origin, History, and Significance of Nag Panchami :
Snakes are worshipped across many ancient cultures in the world. Snakes are considered as one of the powerful creatures due to their poisonous nature and venom. Naga Panchami or Nag Puja in India dates back to 3,000 BCE since the time of Indus Valley Civilization. The Naga tribe majorly celebrated the festival.
In Mahabharata, one of the ancient epics of India, the king Janamejaya performs a yagna to destroy the entire race of Nagas. This was to avenge the death of his father, King Parikshit, who fell victim to the deadly bite of the snake Takshaka. However, the famous sage Astika, went on a quest to stop Janamajeya from performing the Yagna and save the sacrifice of snakes. The day this sacrifice was stopped was Shukla Paksha Panchmi, which is now celebrated as Nag Panchami throughout India.
Snakes or Nagas play a significant role in several Hindu scriptures and epics. Books like Mahabharata, Narada Purana, Skanda Purana, and Ramayana have several stories associated with snakes. Another story is associated with Lord Krishna and the serpent Kaliya where Krishna fights with Kaliya at the Yamuna River and finally forgives Kaliya with the promise not to bother the humans again. According to Garuda Purana, worshipping snakes on Nag Panchami brings good fate and prosperity to a devotee.
How is Nag Panchami Celebrated and Where to Go :
Since Shravan is considered as the month of Lord Shiva and snakes are dear to him, Naga Panchami is celebrated at almost all the Shiva temples across India. There are many Nag temples in the country as well that people visit on this day to offer their prayers. A number of real snakes and snake charmers are found around the temples. Some communities also bring home the idols of snakes to worship. People dress up in new clothes, collect their offerings for the snakes, and chant a special mantra. The main part of the offerings is the milk as the devotees believe that it would keep their families safe from the snake bite. Some people also consider it bad to dig the earth and use black iron utensils on Naag Panchami.
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नागपंचमी की कथा | Story Of Nag Panchami | Why do we celebrate Nag Panchami | Nag Panchami 2020
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