Nagara Panchami is a festival celebrated by Hindus across the country. This festival is celebrated with great devotion all over India. The Hindus practiced this festival since ancient times as a way of worshiping life and the forces of nature. Nagara Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day i.e. Panchami which falls in Shuklapaksha of Shravana month. It usually falls in the month of July or August. This year Nagara Panchami is being celebrated on August 2.
The reason why this festival is celebrated during these months is because snakes scare people during this time. When the burrows are filled with water due to rain, the snakes that come out are more likely to pose a danger to people. So, snakes are worshipped at this time.
Our ancestors have added Naga to the ranks of deities and called them ‘Nagadevatas’. They did not forget to give priority to snakes along with other species in terms of ecological balance. In agrarian India, the Naga plays an important role in protecting grain by controlling other pests that destroy agriculture.
Worship of the serpent deity is considered to bring happiness, prosperity and good luck in Hinduism. Worshiping the Naga deity on the day of Nagara Panchami is believed to free one from the fear of enemies and attain renewable virtue. By worshiping Nagadevata, the fear of snake bites in life is relieved. It is believed that the Kalasarpa dosha associated with the horoscope will also be removed.
On the day of Nagara Panchami, people do not go to dig the earth. Instead the snakes are worshipped in front of a stone snakes carved on it, a clay naga or a naga photo. This festival is celebrated in almost the same way in all parts of India.
Nagara Panchami festival is a special festival for girls. If the sister prays to Nagadevata on the day before Nagara Panchami, the brother will get benefit and protection. It is also believed that Nagara Panchami is auspicious and fertile. Nagara Panchami in North Karnataka is full of specialities. Daughters are honoured on this day by giving them gifts.