Goga Navami (also known as Guga Naumi) is a festival devoted to Lord Guga, the Snake God. Goga Navami is observed on the Navami tithi (9th day) of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight of moon) in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada. When it comes to the English calendar, the event occurs in August or September each year. In 2021, Goga Navami falls on August 31, Tuesday.
Significance of Goga Navami:
Hindus celebrate Goga Navami as one of the most important festivals, in honour of Gogaji. A strong Rajput prince, Guga is said to have the supernatural ability to control deadly snakes, according to tales. As part of a tradition, several versions of his tales are reiterated on this day. In some parts of India, he’s described as having a miraculous birth, getting married, having a family, going to battle, and even disappearing from Earth. According to the Hindus, it is believed that worshipping him on this day is said to safeguard people from snakes and other calamities. Moreover, it is said that Lord Guga protects children from any type of danger. Therefore, Goga Navami is worshipped by married ladies who pray to him for their children’s health and happiness. On this day, some married ladies who are childless pray to be bestowed with progeny.
Rituals during Goga Navami:
Devotees worship the idol of ‘Gogaji’ on Goga Navami. He’s seen waving yellow and blue flags while riding on a blue horse. It is said that the vidhi of praying to Lord Goga begins on Shravana Purnima (the day of Raksha Bandhan) and lasts for nine days till Navami in some regions. Due to this reason, it is known as Goga Navami. Finally, at the end of the puja, the devotees chant the Gogaji Katha. Rice and chapati are distributed as Prasad among the worshippers once the puja rites are completed. In Guga Mari temples, several pujas and processions are held. For protection from danger, Hindus also tie a Rakhi or ‘Rakhsa Stotra’ to Lord Goga on the occasion of Goga Navami. Extensive fairs are also conducted in the rural areas of Northern and North-Western India during the Goga Navami festival. Guga Navami Mela in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, is the largest and most popular of all fairs and melas.
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