Fast, Fair and Festivals of India Fast, Fair and Festivals of India
Celebrated In : Haryana
To Worship : Guga, The Snake King
In the month of : August
Guga is supposed to be the greatest of the snake-kings. He is worshipped throughout the district in the Hindu month of Bhadon, corresponding with the month of August. His shrine known as 'Mari' is a cubical building with a minaret on each corner and a grave inside.
The Generous Snake King
Guga, the snake king is not malevolent, as the saying goes "Guga beta na dega, tan kuchh na chhin lega" meaning 'if Guga does not give me a son, at least he will take nothing away from me." Guga, a Chauhan Rajput, was born at Garhdera near Sirsa. His mother Bachal, who was reprimanded by all for being barren, had served saint Gorakhnath, the founder of the community of 'Kanphata Jogis' for twelve years and after the rigorous penance, Guga was born to her. Guga is said to have possessed supernatural powers and could cure snake bitten person within no time.
The Celebrations
A long bamboo with the top adorned with peacock plumes, a coconut, some coloured threads, hand fans (bijna) and a blue flag mark the celebrations. This is called his 'chhari' or fly flap. On the 9th day of the month of Sawan, the saints take it round the village, along with the thumping of drums. People pay obeisance to it and offer 'churmas'.
The five devotees who are the main dancers while singing the praise of the Pir accompanied by their instruments like dholak, manjiras, deru, chimta and cymbals dance in tune with the rhythm shedding tears and beating their chests with iron chains.
If a snake bit a man, people thought he had been neglecting Guga. The singers of devotional songs dedicated to Guga are found in villages Assan Kalan, Richhpur, Matlauda and Samalkha. Maris (his temples) are, of course, to be found in a large number of villages.