Nag Panchami Festival, India

Hindu mythology gives special importance to Snakes. All over India is celebrated Nag Panchami as a tribute to Shesha Naga, the serpent God. The Hindu calendar celebrates Nag Panchami on the fifth day of Shravan, during the monsoon season. The Hindu festival of Nag Panchami also celebrates the forces of nature and is considered one of the most auspicious festivals. In the rainy season, when the snakes leave their hiding places due to the rain and floods, Nag Panchami serves to pacify the snakes. The event is celebrated to keep snakes from becoming enemies of humans. The day is marked by the feeding of cobras with milk and the worship of snakes, including the lighting of lamps and the decoration of temples with flowers and sweets.

Whenever the festival occurs in Maharashtra, the entire state prepares for it in July and August. Southern Indian households, in particular, are known for celebrating Nag Panchami. Nag Panchami is celebrated by offering snakes milk and honey mixed with saffron. During Nag Panchami celebrations in Shirale, Mumbai, snakes are captured. Temples worship the snakes after they've been fed and nourished back to health. Maharashtrians are known to ask for alms while carrying a cobra with them from door to door.

It is said that Nag Panchami was celebrated because Lord Krishna defeated the evil snake Kaliya in a river after he attacked Krishna's ball while retrieving it. Kaliya realized after a few moments that the child was not ordinary and had begged for mercy and forgiveness. As a result of Krishna's actions, the villagers were kept safe from the harassment and torment of the evil snake, Kaliya.

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