A Statue of Naga being worshiped on Nag Panchami
Also called Naaga Pujaa Observed by Hindus Type Religious, India and Nepal Date fifth day (Panchami) of the month of Shravan month of the Lunar calendar 2010 date 14 August 2011 date 4 August Observances worshipping images of or a live Cobra.
Nāg Panchamī (Devanagari: नाग पंचमी) is a festival during which religious Hindus in some parts of India worship either images of or live Nāgas (cobras) on the fifth day after Amavasya of the month of Shraavana. Traditionally, married young women visit their premarital households to celebrate the festival. Especially in villages in India, a traditional aspect of the celebration involves joyous swinging by young women on swings temporarily hung on tree branches.
According to Puranic scriptures, Brahma’s son Kashyapa had four wives. The “first” wife gave birth to Devas; the second, to Garudas; the third --named Kadroo--, to Nāgas; and the fourth, to Daityas. Nāgas were the rulers of Pātāl-Loka.
अनन्तं वासुकिं शेषं पद्मनाभं च कम्बलम् |
शंखपालं धार्तराष्ट्रं तक्षकं कालियं तथा ||
According to the scriptures, Lord Krishna had conquered Naga Kālia and put an end to his evil deeds on Nāga Panchamī. It is believed that the Kathmandu valley used to be a vast lake. When human beings started to drain the lake to make space for settlements, Nagas became enraged. To protect themselves against the wrath of Nagas, people gave the latter certain areas as pilgrimage destinations, restoring thus harmony in nature.
According to other scriptures, a king used his Tantric powers to force Nagas to return to the land rains which they had taken away. The Nagas gave in to the king’s Tantric power, but in recognition of their power to control rains, the king established Naga Panchami festival.
During the festival, Nepalese traditionally post pictures of Nagas above the doors of their homes to ward off evil spirits, offer prayers to Nagas, and place food items such as milk and honey in their fields for Nagas. A few men wearing demon masks dance in the streets as a part of a ritual. Hindus in Nepal have their own legends surrounding Nagas, which lead them to celebrate Nāga Panchamī on a large scale.
Celebration, rituals and tradition
In South India
On this day married women and the girls wake up early in the morning, take head bath, arrange the things necessary for puja and start to reach a nearest Ant Hill(Snake's Home). They offer puja and Milk to the Ant Hill and pray to Snake God(Indian Cobra - Lord Subramanya's Incarnation) for the Wellness of their brothers and their family. This day is like RakshaBandhan for South Indian Hindus. If there is no AntHill nearby, they offer milk and puja to the snake statues erected in the nearby temples. A portion of Milk taken for puja is taken back home and offered to everyone at home as prasadam(Thirtham).
They invite their brothers to their home. They immerse a flower in the left over milk and apply it on their brothers' back and perform Arathi for their Wellbeing. They also gift them as per their wish and also the brothers of the women wish for their wellbeing and gift them as per their wish.
Sweets like Kadubu(Kannada, Kudumulu in Telugu), Nuchununde(Kannada, Kanduntalu in Telugu - A spicy item made of dal cooked in steam) are prepared, offered to Lord and then distributed. This festival is observed on the fifth day of Shravana month of Hindu Lunar Calendar after the amavasya of Ashada month.
This festival tries to bring the Sisters (married or unmarried) and their Brothers together for family welfare.
Nair: Nagavanshi Kshatriya Clan
Nairs, the indigenous inhabitants of Kerala State are one of the nagavanshi kshatriya clans in India. The name of the capital city of Kerala State itself is one of the pointing evidence. The name of the city is Thiruvananthapuram (Thiru-Anantha-Puram), which is derived from The Great Anantha Naga who is also known as Great Serpent Adishesha . Nair families maintain Sarpakavu in all main houses. The region of kerala itself was known as Patala-Loka in antient times. The AnanthaPadmanabha Swami Kshetram is another landmark of Thiruvananthapuram where the deity Mahavishnu is in eternal rest over Anantha The Great Serpent. The expertise in The Martial Art "Kalarippayattu" stands as bestowed quality of Nairs to be the rulers of Patala-Loka.
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dhallapiccola
Festivals in the Hindu calendar Major festivals Regional New Year Holy days Holy periods
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