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Nagula Chaviti

'Nagula Chavithi' is a festival where serpents are worshipped with great devotion and religious fervor. It is celebrated on the fourth day after Deepavali, which falls on a New Moon day. Also called as 'Naga Panchami', on this day women and children observe fast and worship snake god. They offer milk at the snake hills. On this day there is a great demand for snake hills. Some complete the ritual at home placing a picture or idol of a snake.

Time for the Festivity

Nagula Chavithi is celebrated twice a year during the months of 'Karthika' and 'Sravanam'. 'Nagula' means of the snakes and 'Chavithi' is the fourth day after every New Moon or Full Moon day. Seven-hooded Cobra is worshipped on this day, if available, with oleanders.

The Legend

Legend behind this celebration is that during the churning of the ocean by gods and demons in search of "Amrutham" (the nectar of immortality), Lord Shiva swallowed the poison that emerged. A snake was used as rope in the process and a terrible poison ('garalam') was one of the many things that emerged from it. It would have engulfed the whole world, but for Lord Shiva, who swallowed it and retained it in his throat, lest it kill Him. His throat turned blue - hence, He is called "Neelakantha".

However, a few drops fell out and to ward off the evil effects people worship the Cobra, the king of snakes, to pacify the brood and protect themselves from their deadly poison.

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