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Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami is an important festival of the Hindus. Since Vedic times it is celebrated on the fifth day of the moonlight-fortnight in the Hindu month of Shravan (July-August). On this day nagas, cobras, and snakes are worshipped with milk, sweets, flowers, lamps and even sacrifices. Especially farmers, worship the cobra (Nag) as snakes play an extremely important role in the protection of crops. Snakes eat rats and other rodents, which usually infect the crops.

On Nag Panchami day, live cobras or their pictures are revered and religious rights are performed to seek their goodwill. On this day, women worship the cobra and at places where there are no cobras, people make offerings to clay idols of the snake. The images of Naga deities made of silver , stone, wood are first bathed with water and milk and then worshipped, reciting mantras.

Snakes and cobras are held in admiration and reverence in India. They are worshipped and offered prayers on Nag Panchami. The devotees fast on this day, while the Brahmins are served special food and piety observed on this day is considered a sure protection against the fear of snake bite.

In Goa too, the women celebrate Nag Panchami by offering prayers and Pooja in honour of the snake. An idol of clay or paper is installed in the morning after doing the pooja.

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