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July 23, 2012

Devotees throng religious sites to observe Nag Panchami

Allahabad / Varanasi: Nag Panchmi, the annual festival dedicated to the serpent divinity was celebrated with full religious fervour across Uttar Pradesh on Monday. This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the moonlit-fortnight during Shravan month (July-August) of the Hindu calendar. “This is a very auspicious day. Devotees offer milk, flowers and sweets to the snake deity. This also results in the fulfillment of their wishes,” said Sham Tripathi, a priest in Allahabad . Devotees throng holy sites on this day, as it is believed that offering prayers on Nag Panchmi leads to prosperity and happiness all year round. “This is one of the biggest festivals for Hindus; it marks the advent of new festivals. We pray to the snake deity and if someone offers prayers on this day, then it brings prosperity as well. Wearing a snake around one's neck is also considered lucky," Mohan, a devotee, explained. In Varanasi , pilgrims made a beeline to worship the sacred deity and seek blessings from Him. “This is an auspicious day. Several devotees have come here. People take a holy dip in the Ganga and offer prayers to the snake deity,” Vivek Mehta, a devotee, said. In ancient times, snakes were worshipped and given milk. It is believed that Nag (snake) is related to Lord Shiva.

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