To be celebrated on the 5th of August in 2019, Nag Panchami refers to an age-old Hindu festival that is celebrated in honour and worship of the Snake god. Back in the day, the festival was celebrated to help locals steer clear of snake bites that were rather common in rural areas. So, in order to please the snake, they started the Nag Panchami Pooja.
On this auspicious day, devotees all around the country perform the Nag Panchami Pooja we’re here to talk about. So, for those who don’t know much about this relatively low-key festival, we’ve stated some fast facts for you below.
Fast Facts About The Nag Panchami Pooja
Nag Panchami Fast
• Devotees observe a fast on the day of the festival to please the snake god
• The fast begins at sunrise and continues until the sun sets
• Fried & salty foods are to be completely avoided on this day
• While the fast is only to be conducted on the day of the festival, dedicated devotees may start a day before and usually do in some areas.
• The fast should be broken only after “kheer” has been offered to the snake god.
• To break the fast, people consume food that was prepared the previous day. Food prepared on the day of the pooja should not be consumed to break the fast.
Rituals Of Nag Panchami
• Like most Indian festivals, traditional clothes are worn with pride after an early morning bath to cleanse you of your sins and impurities
• Snake idols are either bought or prepared using clay, milk, turmeric, grass, kum kum and flowers.
• Flowers and milk are placed near snake holes so that they can feast on the same when they come out.
• Women traditionally wear the “Nauvaari” saree or “9 yard” saree as it’s called in English.
• Married women visit their premarital homes whereas unmarried women keep the above mentioned fast in order to bring the right man into their lives.
• Coconut sweets, black sesame ladoos along with other Indian mithai’s are offered to the snake gods
• Red hibiscus flowers are part of the pooja samagri for this particular occasion and are placed at the feet of the idol and an aarti follows suit.
• Nag Mantras are chanted by the devotees during this aarti and sandalwood is commonly used during the worship as the aroma from it is said to please the snake god.
• Ploughing, digging and cutting grass/crops on fields is strictly prohibited as it is believed this can anger the serpent god or harm snakes in that region.
• Sweets offered to the snake god are then distributed amongst devotees are prasad.
• The Goddess Manasa Devi is also worshipped on this day across various parts of India
Fun Fact: Believe it or not, back in the day, the rituals required women to offer milk to a REAL snake. It was said that if the snake sipped the milk, good fortune was coming to your family. However, for safety reasons and the rumours that milk might kill snakes, this practice was stopped.
So, there you go! Everything you should know about the Nag Panchami Pooja is now in your head. Remember, snakes are just the face of the pooja, in reality, the pooja is conducted to honour all of mother nature, not just snakes. Which is what makes it a great way to pray for our own well-being, as well as that of the environment.