KATHMANDU, July 24: The festival of Nag Panchami celebrated every year on the fifth day of the waxing moon in the month of Saun according to the lunar calendar is being observed on Tuesday by pasting the pictures of Nag or the serpent deity above the main gate of houses and by paying homage to the serpent god.
There is a religious belief that pasting the picture of the serpent god above the main door at houses and offering worship to the deity on this day protects the house from lightning and fire and the family from snakes and scorpions.
As mentioned in the Baraha Purana scriptures, it was on this day that the serpent king and Brahma, the lord creator, had talks, so the special significance of the day.
All the eight serpent deities in the pantheon are worshipped today by offering them the Dubo grass or Cynodondactylon, milk and incense. The eight serpent deities are Ananta, Basuki, Padama, Mahapadma, Takshyaka, Kuleer, Karkata and Sankha.
Special religious fairs are also held at different Naga kunda or ponds dedicated to the serpent deity throughout the country today.