Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami is one of the prominent Hindu festivals celebrated across India and Nepal. It is primarily marked by worshiping snakes and serpents and offering milk to them. The term ‘Nag’ means snake and ‘Panchami’ means the fifth day. Nag Panchami falls on the fifth day of the bright half of Shravan month. It is one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. Nag Panchami 2017 falls on July 27, two days after the Hariyali Teej celebration in India. Several places in India like Maharashtra, put their best foot forward to celebrate Nag Panchami and its traditions in all their glory. Nag Panchami celebrations in Maharashtra are marked by several rituals like bathing snake deity idols with milk and offering prayers. Also Read - Nag Panchami 2018: History, Significance And All You Need to Know

Karnataka is one of the states that celebrates Nag Panchami with great zest. Snakes have always been an important part of Hindu culture and mythology. They are believed to be residents of the Patal Lok or Naga Lok. Nag Panchami celebration in Karnataka begins five days before the actual day of Nag Panchami. Clay idols are worshiped by girls who pay their respects by offering milk, sweets, lamps and flowers. You will often see a thread dipped in turmeric tied around wrists of devotees denoting that they have taken sacred vows during this auspicious time. People abstain from non-vegetarian food and alcohol during this period and mark the end of the festival with a fest. Coorg in Karnataka is noteworthy on account of its noka platform which is an ancestral snake incarnation installed using rough stones. The serpent deity in the historic Hampi is washed, decorated and worshiped on nag Panchami day. Also Read - Nag Panchami 2018 Wishes: Best Messages, Quotes, Happy Nag Panchami WhatsApp GIF & Greetings to Celebrate Sawan Month Festival

Nag Panchami in Hampi - Photograoh Courtesy: Dineshkannambadi/Wikimedia Commons

Nag Panchami in Hampi – Photograph Courtesy: Dineshkannambadi/Wikimedia Commons

It is common in south India for every village to have a presiding serpent deity. The deity, which is usually in the form of one, two or nine snakes, is worshiped during Nag Panchami with milk and flowers. Several people worship ant hills, where the snakes are believed to reside, by performing rituals that include turmeric, vermilion, and sugar mixed in wheat flour. It is also common to find people going round the ant hill five times chanting prayers and singing songs praising the snake Gods. The fact that Karnataka is absolutely spectacular during the monsoon season, when this auspicious day typically falls, makes the state a great place to visit during Nag Panchami. It’s a great time to witness the best of nature and culture in south India at the same time. Also Read - Diwali 2017 Celebration in India: Here's How India Gears up For Deepavali, the Festival of Lights