Art, Culture & Architecture

    Nepal celebrates Naag Panchami festival

    Inam Ansari
    August21/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Nepal celebrates Naag Panchami festival

    Kathmandu: Devotees in Nepal on Monday thronged the famed Naag Pokhari, a sacred pond dedicated to the serpent deity as the country celebrate Naag Panchami festival.
    A brass idol of the serpent deity is installed in the pond situated next to the former royal palace in Kathmandu. Devotees pray for the protection and calmness to avert any catastrophes.

    The Naag Panchami festival is celebrated annually on the fifth day of Shrawan Shukla as per the lunar calendar.
    “I have been coming here (Naag Pokhari) for years. I come here annually to perform rituals and pray to the serpent deity. Previously a boat used to ferry devotees to the centre of the pond where we could make offerings to the bronze sculpture,” Yashodha Karki, a devotee told ANI.
    The practice of serpent worship is believed to have started in the Vedic period, acording to Vedic beliefs, Naga is considered the king of snakes.

    The Naag Pokhari, a pond dedicated to the Serpent deity in Naxal of Kathmandu was worshipped and made special offerings of scutch grass, flower and rice grains mixed with red vermillion powder.
    Milk, fruits and sweets made of milk are also offered with the lighting of incense sticks and lamps to the deities.
    “Milk, barley seeds, and sesame seeds are offered first during the rituals followed by vermillion powder. We also fix the picture of a Naag using cow dung,” Sapana Katuwal, another devotee told ANI.
    The festival of Naag Panchami is also regarded as a festival to strengthen the bond between humans and nature. On this particular day, the farmers don’t dig or plough the field rather they worship the deity making idols from the mud of their field.
    The serpentine deity is also regarded as the god of water and rain, and as per religious belief, it is said that the house where the Naag deity resides is bestowed with wealth and prosperity.
    As per the belief the age-old tradition of observing the festival started when a farmer in ancient times had ploughed the field on the day of Nag Panchami and a family of serpents was killed. The serpent then promised not to spare any of the family members of that farmer after his entire family was killed.
    The farmer had only a daughter who also was married off; the serpent then went to the girl’s house to take revenge and saw the daughter worshipping the serpent deity. That snake who lost its family returned blessing the girl. (ANI)