World ? Asia ? India ? Mumbai

Nag Panchami (Snake Day)

26 Jul 2009 (annual)
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India celebrates Nag Panchami (Snake Day) in a number of ways. In Mumbai, cobras are venerated and fed sweetened milk. Tourists can hope to see more snake-charmers than usual on the streets and can indulge in a little cobra-feeding themselves...
While Christian myth sees snakes in a wholly negative light, Hindu culture reveals a mixed response to the reptiles, a combination of fear and worship. In its positive aspects, the cobra is associated with gods like Shiva (who drapes one around his neck) and Vishnu (who reclines on one). This festival reflects Hinduism's dual attitude in its combination of adoration and appeasement.
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