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Gugga Naumi/ Navami Festival
Gugga Naumi is an important religious festival celebrated in parts of Himachal (especially the Una district), Punjab and Rajasthan. It is observed on the 9th day of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of moon) in Bhadrapad month. Gugga Naumi is normally celebrated at a traditional time in North India known as “the 9th Bhadon”, which falls between August and September each year.
Gugga Navami Date
September 6, 2016/ Tuesday
The festival is named after Gugga Pir ((also known as Gugga Jaharpir, Gugga Pir, Gugga Chohan, Gugga Rana, Gugga Vir, Gugga ji or Bagga Wala) a venerated religious leader, who was born in Bikaner at Dadreva village (Rajasthan). He is the folk deity of Rajasthan and the Punjab region. His followers can also be found in the region of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Gugga Pir is also famous as “Baggarwala” because of his grave near Dadrewa (near Ganga Nagar). Monday and the “9” date are believed to be his day.
Gugga Pir, although a Hindu, has several Muslim devotees and is mainly considered to be a saint (pir) who had the power to treat the effects of snake poison (jahar). He is particularly famous among those engaged in agrarian pursuits, for whom the terror of snakebite is very common.
Processions and pujas are held in Guga Mari Temples on this special occasion. On the day of festival devotees of Gugga Ji paint his image on the wall in turmeric. Devotees also paint various images of snakes in the walls of the temples. They offer milk, sweets and water to the deity of the day.
Devotee also pour milk into the holes of the snake. On this day, Guga Navami Melas (fairs) are held in regions of North and Northwestern India (especially in rural areas). There is also a popular belief that children will be protected if married women pray and perform pujas on this auspicious day.