Nagula Chavithi, also known as Naagula Chaviti, is a highly auspicious day dedicated to Nagas (Cobras) in Andhra Pradesh and adjoining areas. In 2017, Nagula Chavithi date is October 23. It is celebrated on the fourth day after Deepavali in Kartik month (October – November). In many places, it is a three day festival – Nagula Chavithi is followed by Naga Panchami and Naga Sashti on the following days. The day is of great importance in Naga Temples in the state.
The most important Naga Panchami festival, which is widely celebrated in India, is observed on the fifth day after the new moon day in the month of Shravan (July – August). This is a single day festival.
Nagula Chavithi is widely celebrated only in Andhra Pradesh and is associated with the legend of Samudra Manthan. It is believed that Lord Shiva drank the poison Halahala or Kalkuta to save the universe on this day.
The main event on the day includes pujas and prayers in Naga temples across the state.
Nowadays, Nagula Chavithi day is noted for the notorious practice of offering milk and eggs to the snakes, especially cobras near snake pits. Snake charmers also bring cobras to villages and towns which are fed with milk by devotees. Such practices should not be encouraged as it leads to the death of snakes.
Worship of Nagas is a constant reminder to humans to live in harmony with Nature. And the ideal way to worship Nagas is by protecting the forests and grooves that are home of snakes and other animals.