Hindu devotees in Nepal worship snakes to mark Nag Panchami festival

16th Aug, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Aug. 16:  Hindu devotees in Nepal on Thursday celebrated "Nag Panchami", a festival dedicated to snakes across the country by worshipping serpents.

The festival is observed every year on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Shrawan during the monsoon season in Nepal. Hindu devotees conventionally visit different shrines and ponds to mark the festival and organize different religious fairs and cultural programs.

On the occasion, people pray to snake, regarding it as God by offering honey, green leafs, fruits and flowers, while cow's milk is an indispensable item to worship the snake. On this particular day, people paste the photo of snake, also known as Nags, in the main entrance of the house.

It is believed that worshiping the god snake on Nag Panchami festival keeps people safe from different natural evils. Hindu devotees offer special prayers, wishing for protection from snake bites, thunder, lightning and fire among others.

Snakes are often regarded as a great threat to mankind during monsoon season. There is no exact data about snake bites in Nepal, but it is estimated that there are about 20,000 snake bites and 1,000 fatalities every year, mostly in low-lying areas known as Terai region.

The festival is celebrated with merriment in neighboring India as well.