Snake festival Nag Panchami: why do Hindus worship reptiles? (7 photos)
Actually, Nag Panchami is a big festival of worship of snakes, cobras and other poisonous reptiles. It is believed that these days a snake will never bite you. But the most ironic thing is that these days everyone collectively treats snakes with milk, which, as a rule, she cannot digest.
If we talk about entertainment and Indianness, this is a very interesting ritual for a foreigner. And also a reason to get rid of the fear of reptiles. Because during the festival they are visible and invisible.
Typical entertainment for Indian kids
Where do they get all these snakes?
It is very clever that the time of Nag Panchami falls in August, when the monsoon season begins in India. Constant downpours flood forests and snake holes, and they crawl out willy-nilly. Cold and frozen.
That's when they are grabbed and dragged to the holiday. A fairly logical tradition from the point of view of a person with a mythical mindset. From somewhere a lot of snakes appeared at once, perhaps they all crawled out for a common holiday.
The snake is treated. That look of hers: “LET GO!”
Meeting a snake on a forest path these days is considered a very good sign. For example, if you are an unmarried girl, you will definitely get married this year.
There is also a legend about snakes. According to legend, they were born from the fourth wife of the supreme god Brahma, they were called divine nagas. It is believed that nagas own all the secrets and treasures of the underworld, therefore on this day, if you appease them, then next year the snakes will thank you.
Why don't people get bitten on this day?
Well, actually they bite. But very rarely and not participants in the celebration. Because Hindus know traditional ways to protect themselves from snakes.
One day of the holiday, the next day - they are mined in millions to sew bags and belts
These include sprinkling yourself with hot spicy spices, as well as feeding the snake milk and rice so that it becomes lethargic and loses its sharpness of reaction. After all, the snake does not have the enzyme to break down lactose. They prefer water, but when thirsty they will also drink milk.
At the same time, they begin to catch cobras a week before the festival. All caught poisonous snakes are placed in clay jugs, where they are properly fattened. They throw rats at them and give them milk again.
Drink, drink, snake, you will be kinder
There is generally a lot of milk at this festival. It makes the well-fed snake a little nightingale. Therefore, when on the day of the holiday all the snakes are released from a jug into the common courtyard, they do not rush at the crowd, but sway in a trance dance. It is customary to admire and praise them. And the main servant of the temple at this time showers them with flower petals and spices.
The dazed snake doesn’t understand what’s going on here!
Everything is fair, not a single snake has its fangs removed. How can you cripple them on the snake holiday? Therefore, after the “dance” in the square, the snakes are returned to the pots and taken away, gradually releasing them.
According to tradition, you need to go through 32 villages, releasing a little snake evenly at each stop. This is to distribute the snakes evenly across India. Maybe.
The snake next to the ritual jug, sat in the octor for a week
With the snakes in such an overfed state, were you able to calmly celebrate with everyone? I wouldn’t be very comfortable if once every hundred years a stick shoots and an overfed cobra lunges at a person.