Nagara Chauthi festival is celebrated on the fourth day of the Hindu month Shravana, July – August according to Gregorian calendar dedicated to Snake god. This year (2016) the festival is on 6th August. On this day women take oil head bath and do pooja to a snake carved out of stone or to the Havina Huththa, an ant hill where the snake lives or to a silver Nagappa / snake.
They offer raw Milk, Gejjevastra / cotton garland, Arishina / Turmeric powder, Kumkum / Vermillion colored powder, flowers and soaked Bengal gram. In North Karnataka small raw tamarind known as Nagara Kayi, Salt and Aralu / Flattered Puffed Rice are also used in the pooja.
Picture – Ant Hill, Photograph taken in B.R.Hills
The women pray for the well being of their brothers and for the prosperity of their brothers. They fast on this day.
Picture – Kallu Nagappa / Snake god carved out of stone
On this day Yellina Chigali and Akki Thambittu is prepared and offered as Naivedya / blessed food. The Yellu / Sesame Seeds and Akki / Rice used for these dishes will be used raw i.e, it will neither be roasted nor cooked.
The day after Nagara Chauthi is Nagara Panchami festival.