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Maroi Puja In Assam

Maroi Puja is the snake worship performed by certain communities in Assam. Some villages have a mareghar or marethan dedicated to snake worship. The puja involves various offerings including animal sacrifice. Lamps, incense and local produce are offered on the occasion of the puja. Fish, fruits, betel leaves, betelnuts and fresh clothes are part of the offering.

The main deity worshipped in the puja is Goddess Manasa – the serpent deity. Maroi puja also has specific songs (ojapali), dance and playing of musical instruments. Goddess Sitala Devi is also worshipped during the puja. The Deodhani or the an important person goes into a trance and becomes the medium for the Goddess to communicate with the worshippers.

The puja begins with person known as Maleya erecting a maju (platform)

The worship is not restricted to people of one religion or caste, and there is no fixed day for the puja and may be performed whenever devotees desire it.

The puja performed usually by a village elder who is experienced in conducting the puja. He will have a couple of assistants who will perform various small rituals that are part of ophiolatry.  

A feast is offered at the end of the pujas. The food items usually contain both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

The sacrifice of animals such as buffaloes, goats, pigs, ducks and pigeons are performed. The sacrificial animal chosen varies from region to region. Sometimes the animals are released after making the offering.