Nag Panchami is a Hindu festival which is celebrated on Panchami of Shukla Paksh in the month of Shravan. This year, Nag Panchami falls on August 19. A common fact behind celebrating Nag Panchami is that during the month of monsoons, a lot of snakes use to come out from their holes in order to find another shelter. To protect themselves from the snakes’ wrath, people worship them and also offer milk to snakes on this day.
According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Krishna protected Gokuk natives from the notorious cobra named ‘Kaliya’. It is said that when Lord Krishna was a child, he was playing with his friends near the river Yamuna and their ball got entangled in a tree’s branch. Krishna climbed the tree to get the ball but he fell down in the river. The cobra Kaliya used to live in that river and as soon as he got to know that Krishna fell into the river, he came up angrily. That is when Krishna started jumping on Kaliya’s head and caught him by his neck. It didn’t take long for Kaliya to understand that Krishna wasn’t an ordinary boy and he won’t be able to defeat Lord Krishna. Kaliya had then requested Krishna not to kill him. Krishna took a promise from Kaliya that he wouldn’t bother anyone thereafter. Therefore, Nag Panchami is celebrated to mark the victory of Krishna over the cobra Kaliya.
On the occasion of Nag Panchami, farmers don’t plough their fields on this day. People worship live snakes (cobras) and also the pictures and idols of snake; they offer sweets, rice, milk, flowers etc to the snake. Devotees also visit Lord Shiva temples as snakes are considered dear to him and pour milk on the Shivling. This festival is celebrated with a lot of fanfare in different parts of India. For instance, in Maharashtra, people visit others’ houses carrying a cobra along and ask for alms. In Kerala, people visit the snake temples.
Nag Panchami date-August 19
Panchami Begins: August 19 from 5:53 onwards.
Panchami Ends: August 20 at 8:26 in the morning.