Nag panchami today- worshipping snakes
Naag panchami – the festival to worship snakes is being observed today across the nation.
Naags are deity snakes or special snakes. Those snakes have especial roles in Hindu Mythologies.
The festival to worship snakes started as Kathmandu valley used to be a big lake. Naags became very angry when human drained the lake to make it livable. To protect themselves against the anger of Naagas, people gave naags certain areas as pilgrimage destinations, and promise to worship them on the day, returning harmony in nature. That is continued till date.
According to the legend, when people of Kathmandu went to bring the Karunamaya(the God of Grains, annadatta) the special naag called Karkota nagraja helped to cross the river to bring the Karunamaya.
In this day, Nepali traditionally post pictures of Naags above the doors of their homes to keep off evil spirits. They worship the naag by offering a symbol of milk (the white color liquid from the paste of rice). People keep milk for snakes near snake holes.
People make cottons garland, use cow dung and rice flour’s serpent’s from and worship it with cow’s milk, lava, barley, sesame, nuts and with some other religious items.
It is believed that if Naag-Panchami is observed properly every year the Naags provide us good health wealth and blessing during our life. If Naags are angry they make us sick and no medicine can heal.
So people worship Naags for the cause of water, offer prayers to Naags, and place food items such as milk and honey in their fields for Naags.
Few men wearing demon masks dance in the streets as a part of a Naag Panchami ritual.
We have our own myths and legends surrounding Naags, which lead us to celebrate Nag Panchami on a large scale.