Naag Panchami

Naag Panchami

Naag Panchami festival is celebrated by worshiping the snake on the Panchami date of Shravan Shukla Pakchya. On this day, Naags/snakes are worshiped in every house and milk, curd, white-rice, flowers, couch-grass (bermudagrass), with a coin are kept in the picture of the snake and pasted on the door or onto the door lintels of the house with the help of cow dung. There are eight families of snakes including Ananta, Vasuki, Padma, Mahapadma, Takshak, Kulir, Karkat, and Sankha. There is a religious belief that worshiping these eight families of snakes and pasting a picture of them on the main door will not cause lightning, fire, and no fear of snakes in the house. According to astrology, the lord of Panchami Tithi is the snake god. He lives in the land. There is a belief that plowing and digging of foundations should not be done on the day of Naag Panchami as there is a possibility of hurting and suffering the snakes while doing so.

On the day of Naag Panchami, special worship of snake is done. On this day, for the pleasure of the snake deity, it is customary to fast all day and offer kheer (rice pudding) to the snake deity after sunset and receive the offering/ prasad. There is a popular belief that worshiping a snake and pasting a picture of a snake on the door makes one unafraid of snakes. On the day of Naag Panchami, religious fairs are held in various lakes, ponds, and places where snakes live, including Taudaha and Nagpokhari in Kathmandu.

In Nepal, on the day of Naag Panchami, Brahmin priests or maidens prepare hand-drawn pictures of various snakes on paper and paste them in the house of their host. Along with the pictures of snakes made in this way, there are also pictures of the sun, moon, conch, wheel, mace, lotus, fish, scorpion, etc. The tradition of drawing all other animals with snakes is to prevent one from the fear of other poisonous creatures found in the fields. The snake worship mantra is also written in this paper. In the village, this image is worshiped as an idol of the snake deity and pasted on the door of the house.

Milk, couchgrass, kuz, sandalwood, flowers, akshata (white rice) and laddu (sweets) are offered to the snake deity.