The traditional worship of snakes or serpents is observed by Hindus throughout India. Nag Panchami is a sacred Indian festival dedicated to the snake God. This year Nag Panchami is celebrated on Thursday, 27 July, the fifth day of bright half of Lunar month of Shravan, according to the Hindu calendar.
Snake worship is infact an ancient practice of the Indian people. The custom of snake worship is believed to have come from the 'Naga' tribe who lived in ancient India. The Indo-Aryans began following this practice and started worshiping many of the snake deities of the Nagas. Carved figures of snakes can be found on the walls of many Hindu temples.
Nag Panchami which is observed in the month of Shravan, is the advent of the rainy season in many parts of India. During this period, snakes leave their holes in the flooded fields and forests and enter the habitations of humans. Hindus do not kill the snakes because they believe that snakes are their Gods. Hence, in-order to propitiate the snake Goddess Manasa, snake worship is offered on Nag Panchami.
The rituals observed on Nag Panchami include going around the snake pits in temples to worship the Nagas, offering milk in 'Ant Hills' and 'Snake Pits' and performing the Naga Puja in the temples to get relief from Naga Dosha.
By worshiping the snake Gods on Nag Panchami, the snake Goddess Manasa protects us from all evils and removes our fear of snakes and serpents.