The festival of Snakes

Among the various festivals celebrated in Nepal, Nag Panchami  (snake festival) is also one. This festival is dedicated to the powerful snakes and serpents. Snakes are often considered as an important element in the Hindu religion and are believed to be very powerful and also close to the powerful gods. Lord Shiva is portrayed as wearing snake garland around his neck and also Lord Bishnu is found to be resting on the snake bed. Not only for being connected to the Lords but the Snake-God holds his own significant space in Nepali society.

The festival of Nag Panchami falls on the Nepali month of Bhadra (August-September). On this day, the pictures of Nags are posted above the doors of the Nepali households with the belief of keeping the evil spirits off. Usually, the priest come door to door carrying the posters of Nags. They paste it with the help of cow dung and along with it, post a coin and Dubo, the sacred grass. People offer milk in the temples of Nag and devotees throng around the Nag Pokhari (Snake Pond) in Kathmandu and Nag Daha (Snake Lake) in Lalitpur district of the Kathmandu valley. They worship the idols of Nag with cow milk, lava, barley, sesame seeds, nuts and other religious items.

It is believed that observing this snake festival properly makes the Nags happy and they provide us good health and wealth during our life. However, if they get angry, they give us sickness no medicine could heal. According to the Puran, the earth is lifted by Shesh Nag on his head with Lord Vishnu sleeping on its coil inside the ocean. Along with Shesh Nag, Basuki Nag, Kali Nag, Astha Nag, Padma Nag and Karkot Nags are the most powerful Nags in Hind religion.

The ancient scriptures also mentions that without Nags, the rainfall will not be possible, so the people worship Nags for causing the rainfall by offering prayers, and placing food items like milk and honey in their fields.

Also, few men wearing demon masks dance in the streets as a part of the ritual. The rich Nepali culture offers many wonders for the outsiders’ amazement. And the cultural and religious enthusiasts around the world find Nepal a heaven for them.