Nag Panchami is a Hindu festival where snakes and serpents are worshiped. The festival is usually celebrated on the fifth day of the bright half of the Lunar month of Shravana (July/August).
According to Hinduism snake is a form of God, snakes are found worn around the neck by Lord Shiva. Other deities of Hinduism are also associated with snakes like Lord Krishna with Kaliya a Blacksnake and Lord Brahma with Sheshnag the King of Serpents. A Serpent deity is made of silver, stone, or wood, or the painting of snakes is worshiped and given a bath with milk and then revered.
In 2023 Nag Panchami will be celebrated on August 21st (Monday).
Lord Shiva devotees keep fast and offer milk in temples to honor snakes. On the day of Nag Panchami, the twelve names of the serpent Ananta, Vasuki, Shesha, Padma, Kambala, Karkotaka, Ashvatara, Dhritarashtra, Shankhapala, Kaliya, Takshaka, and Pingala should be remembered and worshiped.
Snakes come out during the monsoon from their hideouts in search of dry places, according to Hindu customs snakes should not be killed but rather respected and are asked to leave. Hindus keep fast on this day and offer milk, flowers, and sweets made with milk in temples.
By doing their worship it is believed that they get protected from snake bites and Naga Doshas. By worshiping a serpent on Nag Panchami, the person’s house is always full of wealth. It is believed that deep down in the earth where snakes reside, Goddess Lakshmi also resides so by worshiping Nag Devta you will get abundant wealth in your house.
Mahamritunjya Mantra is recited on this day and people also meditate on the name of Lord Shiva by chanting ‘Om Namaha Shivaya’.
Nag Panchami Mantra:
सर्वे नागा: प्रीयन्तां मे ये केचित् पृथ्वीतले।
ये च हेलिमरीचिस्था ये न्तरे दिवि संस्थिता:।।
ये नदीषु महानागा ये सरस्वतिगामिन:।
ये च वापीतडागेषु तेषु सर्वेषु वै नम:।।’