Myths associated with Nag Panchami
-   2017-07-28 | nepaltraveller.com
There is always an interesting story and some deep meaning and reasons behind the celebration of every festival in Nepal. With Nag Panchami here, nepaltraveller.com compiles interesting myths and stories surrounding this festival
Nag in Sanskrit means snake and Nag Panchami is the day Hindus worship snakes. There are many myths and facts behind the celebration of this festival. It is a festival celebrated with vigour and devotion.
There are several stories and myths behind the significance of the celebration of Nag Panchami. Here are some:
1. The day is celebrated because people used think snakes were a great threat to mankind, especially during the rainy season. Snakes come out during the monsoon as they enjoy overcast and humid weather. They usually come out of their holes as rainwater seeps in and while looking for shelter they might harm humans. Which is why humans in an attempt to make peace worship the snakes on this day, do not dig the earth on this day and feed them milk.
2. The Nag is also perceived as the god of water and rain, and as per the religious belief it is said that the house where the Nag deity resides is bestowed with wealth and prosperity. It is believed that the worship of the snake goes back to ancient times before the Vedic era.
3. Another myth behind the festival is that it is also the day people celebrate Garuda Panchami. Garuda who is the enemy of snakes, is the royal eagle and carrier of Lord Vishnu. Which is why on the day people worship Garuda who can destroy snakes to save humankind.
4. Another interesting story comes from the time when Lord Krishna was a young boy. While playing along the banks of the Yamuna River with his friends he lost a ball in the river. The river was home to the giant snake Kaliya. When Krishna tried to retrieve the ball, Kaliya attacked Krishna and after a great battle Kaliya was defeated. And it is said that to celebrate Krishna’s victory over Kaliya, Nag Panchami is celebrated.
5. People also believe that Lord Shiva, loves and blesses snakes and so by worshipping the snakes they also try to please him. Lord Shiva is believed to be one of the most short-tempered Gods who could ruin lives if he was angered. Some people even worship live cobras on the Nag Panchami and offer them milk and other offerings as food.
How it is celebrated in Nepal:
In Nepal people paste pictures of Nags above the main doors to keep off evil spirits. Most of the people also keep milk for snakes near snake holes.
Devotees also visit the Nag Pokhari pond where the statue of Nag situated in the middle of the pond is decorated on this day. Places like Nagdaha and Taudaha also get a large number of visitors on the day. Some people visit the nearby temples dedicated to snakes and will worship the serpent deity.
People make garlands, use cow dung and rice flour to make a serpent’s from and worship it with cow’s milk, lava, barley, nuts and with other religious items. It is believed that if Nag-Panchami is observed properly every year the snakes will bless the people. If Nags are angry they make us sick and no medicine can heal.