Aug 21, 2015

Nagarapanchami


Nagarpanchami can be considered as a second festival of Shravana Maasa. I am considering Chudi Puja as the first one. Though it is celebrated for the whole of this month when done with family members its no less than a festival.


From what I have understood from my in laws and of course through google, Nagarapanchami usually falls on the 5th day of Shravana Maasa. Due to difference in Panchang people may celebrate on two different days. To avoid any confusion I have made a practice to follow on the same day as at my in laws in Mangalore.


It is believed that Nagadevu  should be worshipped in the traditional place of worship. So devotees offer worship before the stone images of the Nag Devtha in temples.I grew up watching this puja done to particular stone image which was placed under a tree behind our house. When asked why that Nagadevu can not be brought home, my grandmother told me we can not keep Nagadevu stone image at home.


On this day serpent god is worshipped with ghee, milk, sugar, honey, and tender coconut. On this day the serpents are expected to come out of thier holes. Worshipping them with milk, tender coconut, turmeric, flowers, and honey are considered good. My mother in law has always made the puja by offering tender coconut.


Places such as Subrahmanya in Sullia, Kudupi in Mangalore, Kalavar in Kundapur, and Manjeshwar in Kasargod attract a large number of devotees on Nag Panchami. Kudupi in Mangalore is a place we dont miss visiting whenever we visit India.




Though Nagarpanchami puja is done in temples there are certain rituals followed at home. Obviously avoiding onion and garlic is on top of the list. We do not make a tadka of chillies. It is believed the spice created from hot oil and chillies are not good for nagadevu. We typically make something grinding red chillies and a tadka of only mustard seeds and curry leaves. Or make something which does not need any tadka. I usually prefer making batata hinga udda or ghashi which calls for simple tadka. Chappi Kheeri and patoli is made religiously on this day back home. Unfortunately I have never found turmeric leaves here. The ones in my pot are still sprouting. So I decided to make khashi halwa ( kuvvale in konkani and winter melon in english).

Its been ages I have not been present in my hometown Thirthahalli or in Mangalore during this festival and thus I do not have any picture for this day. I still wanted to write about this as a record of what our ancestor Sampradaya’s are. There are tons of recipes and also rituals which are forgotten. This is my humble effort of jotting down of our tradition.

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