Nag Panchami is the festival of snakes celebrated on the fifth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Shravan. The festival falls during the rainy months and is believed to counter the increased possibility of a snake bite during this time.
There are a number of legends associated with Nag Panchami . One legend says that on this day while tilling his land, a farmer accidentally killed some young snakes. The mother of these snakes took revenge by biting and killing the farmer and his family. However, one daughter was praying to the Nagas at that time. This act of devotion touched the mother snake and she sucked out the poison from the farmer and his family. Since then, Nag Panchami has been celebrated. It is believed that snakes will never bite any member of a family that observes Nag Panchami.
According to Garuda Purana offering prayers to snake on this day is auspicious and will usher good tidings in one’s life. This is to be followed by feeding the needy.
As it is believed that snakes have more powers than humans and on account of its association with Shiva, Vishnu and Subramanya, a degree of fear is instilled resulting in deification of the cobra and its worship throughout the country by Hindus.