Festivals of Nepal— Nag Panchami

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Nag Panchami ( Photo credit: Nepal Tour Guide Team)

Origins

Nag Panchami is a festival observed by Hindus celebrated on Panchami Tithi. Panchami is understood as fifth day. Nag refers to the god of serpent according to early Hindu religion.

In the Mahabharat, while King Janamejaya arranged a snake sacrifice known as Sarpa Satra while grand son of  Arjuna had died of snakebite. The sage Astika’s pursuit to stop the sacrifice of serpents (Sarpa Satra) of King Janamejaya. King Janamejaya stopped the snake massacre and ended enmity with the snakes. The day Astika intervened Sarpa Satra was on the Shukla Paksha Panchami day in the month of Shrawan according to the Hindu calender. Since then the day has been celebrated as Nag Panchami. 

Nag Panchami  Rituals

On this day, devotees go to temples to worship snake deities. Devotees also paste snake deities wallpaper at their main gates. The main ritual is to offer milk to snakes. The key ingredient to make prasad on this day is milk and offered to god. During Nag Panchami, women are seen observing fast where they restrain from food. The fast lasts from the dawn to the dusk.

Nag Panchami is a traditional cultural event observed and worshiped since ancient times. The festival also shows the beautiful relationship between human and snakes. Serpents play vital role in the bio diversity. The festival teaches us to protect serpents as well as the various other creature of Mother Nature.

 

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