Naga Chaturthi and Naga Panchami are very auspicious days in the Madhwa calendar. On these days we worship the Serpent God – Naga.
Naga Chaturthi is observed by Ladies who pray for the welfare of their children and Naga Panchami is performed by all. Naga Panchami is also a day when women pray for the welfare of their brothers.
Naga Chaturthi (Nagaachautha)
Nagaachauth, a festival to worship Nag Devatas (Serpent Gods), is mainly a women festival. It is observed by married women for their wellbeing of their children.It is also believed that praying to Naaga will keep one away from skin disorders and ear problems.
Note: I know that people say that Snakes don’t drink milk or any of the things that are offered as part of the ritual mentioned below. However I think the ritual might have been started to encourage people to live in harmony with Nature. Apart from this, by offering this to the Termite mount, we might be feeding and supporting a lot of other insects and organisms around it.
- Unboiled milk
- Rock Salt
- Rice flour
- Jaggery and Til (ground in mixie)
- Thambit (Rice flour, Jaggery, Til and Coconut)
- Green moong (lightly roasted)
- Full channa (lightly roasted)
- Nel Pori
- Rangoli powder (Kola maavu)
- Paat (Plank)
- Diva/Lamps for lighting
- Fruits, Flowers and Cocunut
- Mantarakshata, Vasthra – Both Yellow for Naga chaturthi (no kumkum)
- Silver Naag (for pooja)
1) Make a rangoli outside the house with 2 Nags (Usually there is always a big Nag and small child Nag drawn in all the places). A similar one is done near the stove in the kitchen and on the Paat on which the Naag is going to be kept for the pooja.
2) Draw Naag outside the house on the wall with turmeric water – 2 Naags are to be drawn. (If you live in an apartment and dont want to draw it on the wall, you can do it on paper and stick it outside). Put Vastra for this Naag also.
3) Keep the Silver Naag for Pooja in a plate or small bowl. Keep this on a Paat.
4) With a silver Udharani, put 3 spoons of water, then put 3 spoons of unboiled milk, Ghee and then again water.
5) Put little of each of the following (or whatever is available) – Salt, Black pepper, cotton, Rice flour, Channa, Full moong, Jaggery and til paste, Nel Pori.
6) Put Haldi, yellow Mantarakshata (made with only turmeric), Vastra (made only with turmeric).
7) Light the lamps, Put flowers and pray to Naag for the well being of children and all others in the family.
8) Do Mangalaarathi and namaskara.
9) Saanje (Sojji or Rava Kesari) is made as Neivaidhya. Offer the same to God. Also offer coconut and other fruits as Neivaidhya.
10) Usually women with children do Palahara once – This depends on family tradition also, so please check and follow accordingly.
11) If possible go to the temple (puthu – Termite mount) and offer all the items that you offered to the Naag at home.
12) There is also practice of tying Daava (a thread like Raakhi) to small children below 5 years. The Daava is tied on the right hand above the elbow.
Nagas drawn outside
Naga chaturthi Pooja
On Naga Panchami day, all the people in the house should do pooja in a similar way as mentioned above. You can also include Kumkum, Red mantrakakshata and Red Vastra on this day.
We also make a Putthu like object using Clay and keep a few Naagas on it and do Pooja (Forgot to take a picture of this).
This is a festival and so festival food is prepared and eaten.
1) You can get a few things like all the items for Pooja a day earlier. Keep 3 portions of this – one set for the Nagachaturthi pooja, one set for Naga Panchami pooja and one set for the temple pooja.
2) Palahara items for Naga Chautha are usually Uppit, Sojji, Sadudhana Bakala bath had along with Vadaya (Papad).
3) I have mentioned almost an exhaustive list for what all needs to be put on the Naaga for the pooja. However it is all optional and you can use whatever is easily available.