India | Punjab

Guga Navami

Guga Pir

Guga Navami is a festival celebrated in Punjab and Haryana. Celebrated during the month of August it is dedicated to Guga, the snake king. Guga is believed to posses supernatural powers and could cure a person of snakebite. He is worshipped in a shrine called ‘Mari’, which is a cubical building containing a minaret on each corner and a tomb inside. Such shrines can be found in most villages in Punjab and Haryana.

On the occasion of Guga Navami a structure called ‘chari’ is built from a long bamboo, which is adorned on the top with peacock feathers, coconut, colored threads, hand fans and a blue flag. This ‘chari’ is taken by saints around the village in a procession accompanied by music. People offer their prayers to the ‘chari’ and give offerings, which are locally called ‘churmas.’ The procession is lead by 5 main dancers, who along with dancing and singing in the praise of the lord flog their chest with iron chains.

Updated on 23rd August, 2015


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