Nag Panchami is considered to be one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar.
Nag Panchami rituals and traditions
On the day of Nag Panchami, fields are not ploughed and no fried food is served. This is because, on this day, snakes should not be harmed in any way.
- No ploughing the field with cattle to prevent the snake from getting crushed
- No cutting with farm equipment to prevent the snake's skin from getting scarred
With regard to preventing the snake from getting burnt/charred : even to this day in some homes the tadka is not made on the day of Nag Panchami. If at all tadka is necessary, it is prepared 1 day before! This is because it is believed that due to the cold monsoon season, the snakes slither into homes to get warm near the hearth's embers and when the tadka splutters the rai & jeera tends to fly which may scorch the snake's skin. My grandmother used to follow this tradition.
Coconut-based sweets or ladus with black sesame seeds are made as holy offerings (food offered to the Gods is known as Naivedya) to the Lord of the Serpents. A fast is observed till late evening.
|Clay idol of a snake|
Nag Panchami pooja stotra
In Maharashtra, snake charmers with snakes in their baskets roam the villages, towns and cities on the day of Nag Panchami. Women devotees offer milk to the snake as the snake charmer plays on his flute. If the snake drinks the milk, it is considered very auspicious. Some portion of the milk is then taken back home and given as prasad to family members. In some villages, women create small idols of serpents from cowdung and place one each at either side of their front door to ward off danger.
After the Nag Panchami pooja, married young women visit their parents home to celebrate the festival. In villages, this joyous celebration includes taking part in a common childhood enjoyment – swinging on swings made from ropes and slung from the branches of banyan or other trees.