Naga Panchami Festival Celebrations in India

Naga Panchami is the festival of Snakes. Also called Nagula Panchami, this annual festival is celebrated differently in various parts of India. Click here to read more about What is Nag Panchami Festival, the History of Naga Panchami, and how the ritual is performed.

Punjab

In Punjab, Nag Panchami festival is also called as Guga Navami. The festival is celebrated with a huge snake made out of dough. The dough-snake is made from flour and butter, collected from all the families of the village. The idol is then placed on a winnowing basket and is carried in procession around the village. The procession is accompanied by songs, dances and showering of flowers by women and children. Subsequently, religious rites are performed to invoke the blessings of snake god and the dough snake is then buried.

Nagapanchami in Maharashtra

Women in Maharashtra celebrate Nag Panchami festival in a unique style. During Naga Panchami, they wear the nine-yard sari with ethnic ornaments and worship Nag Devata. You can see snake charmers who move from one locality to other carrying snakes in their baskets. They play the flutes and the snakes are released from the baskets. The women sprinkle haldi-kumkum and flowers on the heads of the snakes and offer milk to the snakes. The snake charmers are offered with cash and old clothes.

West Bengal, Assam and Orissa

People of these states worship Goddess Mansa, the queen of serpents and sister of King of Snakes, Vasuki. They seek protection from the harmful influence of snakes. Melodious tunes played by music charmers for the goddess is an attractive part of the occasion.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu

People visit snake temples and worship stone or metal images of the celestial serpent, Ananta or Sesha, for their prosperity. Some of the major temples dedicated to Snake Gods in Kerala include Mannarassala Nagaraja Temple in Haripad, Sree Ananthankadu Temple in Thiruvananthapuram (located near Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple), and Vettikottu Nagaraja Temple in Alappuzha. The Nagaraja Temple at Nagercoil Tamil Nadu is another famous temple dedicated to Snake God.

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