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Naga Chaturthi

Naga Chaturthi: Festivals of Orissa

Naga Chaturthi Osha is a fasting observed by women in Orissa and is held on the 14th day of the bright fortnight of Kartik (September-October). This fast is mainly observed by women to protect the family members from snake bite. Lord Pingala, the serpent god, is worshipped in the form of a snake image. The image is made of gold, silver or of rice paste close to an ant-hill. The snake deity’s blessings are sought for the welfare of their families and children. Naga Chaturthi is one of the major festivals of Orissa.

According to the myth, a merchant's wife had betrayed the trust of her 'Sangata' and also the serpent Mother Goddess (Naga Mata). All her six sons died of snake bite. The seventh son was married to a princess, who had faithfully observed this fast and she had been blessed by the Naga Mata to be 'Aisulakshani' or the virtuous wife whose husband would not die before she died. Therefore though her husband was accursed and was bitten to death, he was restored to life along with six elder brothers.

 

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