WATCH Indian devotees parade snakes as part of Hindu ritual
A trip to India in the monsoon season may catch you off guard with… snakes! Hundreds of them are paraded through nearly every Indian town when Hindu worshippers flock together to celebrate Nag Panchami – the serpent festival.
Observed in either July or August, the ancient holiday mainly involves scores of snakes being festively carried through the streets of Indian cities, accompanied by chanting and singing.
In preparation, the reptiles are fished or dug out of their holes and kept in pots up until the day of the event, when they are offered blessings of milk, sweets, and flowers.
The procession ends at a temple where the brave snake-holders ‘receive the blessings’ from the serpent-gods. The Hindus believe these rituals ward off bad karma and evil omens.