India is well known for its unique fair and festivals includes Thaipusam, Holi, Karni Mata festival and worshiping of trees, rivers and the holy animals like cow,elephant and snake. Nag Panchami is a festival of Hindus dedicated to worship of images of serpent deities and live snakes.
The festival is celebrated on the fifth day after Amavasya or moonlit-fortnight in the holy month of Shraavana across most part of India. Nag or the Indian cobra is not only regarded as sacred in Hindu religion but also in Jainism and Buddhism. Kerala is one of the place in India where snakes are most sacred and people have surname as Nair. The big King Cobra is the main deity of tribes in Kerala,Snake boat race or Vallamkalli is the major festival celebrated during the days in God’s own country.
Nag Puja: The famous Hindu festival celebrated in the honor of Serpent God or Naag Devta by married women’s. During this important festival, people worship the snake and offer milk to species of Indian cobra snakes. The holy month Shrawan brings many monsoon festival to celebrate and a special blessings of great god Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is the only Indian deity who holds a snake around his neck, so the Indian Cobra is always found around the Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
Indian Cobra: The Indian Cobra or Naja naja also locally known as Naga, is a great snake that may take human form and a female is called as Nagin. Naga snake species are one of the most beautiful and highly venomous snake found in India and responsible for a good number of deaths due to snake bites in a year.
There are variety of poisonous snakes found in India like krait snake,King Cobra out of them 6 are considered most venomous and a major public health concern. For the beautiful skin of snake thousands of Indian cobras,Big rat snakes, Indian pythons,rock pythons and Russell’s Vipers were killed in India and skins were exported to other countries for huge profits.
Save Snakes: Though Indian worship snakes during the traditional Nag Panchami festival but because of public prejudice such as hate, fear and wrong assumptions so they involve in killing of snakes as well. Snake charmers are used to display them as street show of animals for living.
Thanks to some NGO and snake conservation and protection law and Indian snake lovers, many of snakes are getting rescue before they got killed. PETA urged snake charmers to use fake snakes instead of real ones to discourage atrocities against them during prayer ceremonies.