|Nag Panchmi Fair|
Nag Panchami is a traditional worship of snakes or serpents observed by Hindus throughout India and also in Nepal. The worship is offered on the fifth day of bright half of Lunar month of Shravan (July/August), according to the Hindu calendar. The abode of snakes is believed to be patal lok, (the seven realms of the universe located below the earth) and lowest of them is also called Naga-loka, the region of the Nagas, as part of the creation force and their blessings are sought for the welfare of the family. Serpent deity made of silver, stone or wood or the painting of snakes on the wall are given a bath with milk and then revered.
Nag Panchami, the snake festival is one of the bright and colorful festival of Jodhpur, celebrated in honour of the serpent, King Cobra (Naga). Held during the Bhadtapada Budi Panchami (August-September), this festival is celebrated with ancient traditions and medieval customs. During nag panchami, all the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva are adorned with flowers and lights. Hindu's believe that snakes are an inseparable part of Lord Shiva's accessories and praying to them on Nag Panchami will prevent them from stinging. So on this day, devotees gather at the snake temples to offer their worship and prayers to the stone or metal images of the huge serpent Ananta or Sesha.
During Nag Panchami celebrations, huge effigies of the snake king cobra are displayed all over Jodhpur. Women and ladies fast and offer prayers to the serpent king and sprinkle turmeric and vermilion on live snakes and offer them bananas, milk, ghee and rice on a belief that if the snake drinks the milk it would be considered as an auspicious sign and the devotees consider themselves lucky.
On the day of Nag panchami, snake charmers perform special rituals and fast. The major attraction of the festival is the performances of Kalbeliya dancers (women of the snake charmer community) in open-air according to the tunes of frenzied rhythm.