Naag Panchami: Date, Timing, History, Significance

Festivals

Naag Panchami: Date, Timing, History, Significance

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Last Updated on August 3, 2022

Naag Panchami is celebrated across India to worship snakes, especially the cobras. The festival is observed by Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists in various parts of India and Nepal. Generally, this festival falls in the month of Shravan i.e. July-August. In many parts of India, real snakes are worshipped but that is quite rare these days and therefore, most people worship a serpent made of stone, silver, wood, etc. The figures of snakes are given a sacred bath with milk and people pray to these snakes for the welfare of their families.

History

There is a legend that Lord Krishna during his childhood was playing by the Yamuna river and his ball got caught in the branches of a tree near the river. When he went to get the ball, he was attacked by a snake and Krishna fell into the river. After that Krishna got furious and fought with the snake. The snake after seeing its defeat asked for forgiveness from Lord Krishna. To commemorate the victory of Krishna over Kalia, Naag Panchami is observed on the fifth day of Shravan month which represents the end of snakes’ terror.

Naag Panchami 2022

Date2nd August 2022
Begins2nd August 2022 – 05:13 AM
Ends3rd August 2022 – 05:41 AM
Puja Muhurat2nd August 2022 – 05:43 AM to 08:25 AM

Significance

In Hinduism, many plants, trees, and animals or worshipped as a mark of respect and tribute. Naag Panchami is a way of life where people worship the forces of nature. One of the most plausible reasons for Nag Panchami is that snakes as we know, are quite venomous and a great threat to humanity during these months.

July and August are the months of rain and most of the snakes come out of their holes looking for shelter. However, when they come in contact with humans they might harm them feeling a sense of threat. Therefore, Naag Panchami celebrated to show the love of humans to these snakes so that they won’t bite them.

Ways of worshipping in various states of India

In almost every part of India, on this day, people do not dig the earth and offer milk to the figures, or pictures of a nag. Many people also create an idol out of mud and sand and they worship it. There is also a general belief among the Hindus that Lord Shiva, whose neck has a serpent, is also pleased when people worship the snakes. However, the celebration varies from one state to another and there are different kinds of rituals and traditions related to Nag Panchami. Let us have a look at some of the major states and the way they celebrate Naag Panchami:

Maharashtra

Naag Panchami is celebrated with great pomp and show in the state of Maharashtra. There is a place called Shirale in Mumbai where people captured snakes 5 to 7 days before Naag Panchami and then the snakes are fed and worshipped in the temples. In Maharashtra, it is quite common for people to go door to door with a cobra and ask for some kind of charity.

Bengaluru

In Bengaluru, people organize folk songs, dances, and many kinds of traditional games during Nag Panchami. The popular story people hear is that once a girl asked her brother to bring some flowers for Naag Puja but he got bitten by a snake and he died. The sister, however, please end Bing servers back to life and since then this day is celebrated as Naag Panchami.

People here start this tea with great to Ox God and then milk, jaggery, and water are offered to snake God. They also hold many programs where special kinds of events with swings, games, and competitions are organized.

Kerala

In the state of Kerala, most people visit snake temples and worship the stone, and metal figures of snakes. They pray for the welfare of their family and wish that none of their family members get bitten by snakes throughout the year. On this day, alive cobras are also worshipped by the people of Kerala.

Karnataka

naag panchami

In the state of Karnataka, snakes have been an integral part of Hindu culture and mythology. People believe that they belong to Patal Lok or Nag Lok and here in Karnataka, the celebration begins five days before the day of Naag Panchami. Idols made of mud are worshipped by girls who offer milk, sweets, and flowers. During this time, people also abstain from eating non-vegetarian food or consuming alcohol.

Varanasi

naag panchami 2022

Here in this city of Lucknow, akharas (wrestling grounds) are prepared as a part of the Nag Panchami celebration. These akharas are properly cleaned and painted with images of snakes, and priests are also called to witness the event. The importance lies in the fact that wrestlers and Nag symbolize strength. In many of the akharas, special shrines are dedicated to Nagraj where a bowl is placed above the image of the snake and milk keeps pouring from it.

Most beautiful snake temples in India

Although Naag Panchami is celebrated throughout India by almost every household, there is a different kind of charm and aura at the snake temples on this particular day. Here is the list of most beautiful and amazing snake temples to visit in India during Naag Panchami:

Bhujang Nag Temple

This temple is located in the Bhuj district of Gujarat and at the time of Nag Panchami, a fair is organized around this temple. It is one of the best places to visit during Naag Panchami as the temple is beautifully decorated and is visited by tourists from all over India.

Sheshnag Temple

This particular temple is situated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and has been dedicated to Sheshnaag who is considered the king of snakes. There is also a lake nearby and many people believe that this snake lives at this lake to date.

Nagaraja Temple

It is located in the state of Tamil Nadu and the main sanctum sanctorum has been dedicated to Nagraj that is the king of serpents. Later down the line, new strains were added to this temple. At present, it has three shrines: the oldest one belongs to Nagraj, the second shrine has been dedicated to Lord Krishna who has been shown dancing with a snake and the third one belongs to Lord Shiva.

Mannarsala Temple

Located in the state of Kerala, this temple is also dedicated to Nagraj. It is said that approximately 30,000 stone snake figures and images can be found at this temple complex. It is quite an ancient temple and almost 3000 years old.

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Frequently asked questions about Naag Panchami

Why is Naag Panchami celebrated?

There are many legends and stories associated with this festival. One of the most popular beliefs is that on this particular day, Lord Krishna defeated the poisonous snake, Kalia. Apart from the stories, people celebrate Nag Panchami to pay their love and respect to this venomous breed in the hope that it won’t bite them.

What should I avoid doing on Naag Panchami?

One must not dig the earth at around this time as it might harm the snakes. One should also avoid cutting trees at this time of the year for the same reasons.

What happens if you see a snake on Naag Panchami?

If one sees a snake at this time of the festival, it is considered a very auspicious thing. Many people also offer money to the snake charmers on this day to see a snake.

What should we wear on Naag Panchami?

Naag Panchami is celebrated differently in various parts of India. However, almost anywhere in India, people after taking bath, wear traditional clothes; women prefer wearing a sari and men go for Kurta Pyjama.

Do snakes drink milk on Naag Panchami?

As snakes are reptiles, they do not drink milk. Even if they do, it won’t be digested by them and it might risk their life.

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