Jhapan Festival

(redirected from Manasa Festival)

Jhapan Festival (Manasa Festival)

Mid-August; last day of Hindu month of Sravana
Not for the snake-phobic, Jhampanias, or snake charmers, gather in the city of Vishnupur, West Bengal State, India, every August for one of the region's most notable annual festivals. Accompanying them, of course, are snakes of all kinds of local varieties, especially dangerous cobras. Jhampanias train their snakes to perform tricks with them, which attendees can observe to their hearts' content. The patron goddess of snakes is Manasa, a daughter of Shiva, and the festival attracts many who follow her cult.
CONTACTS:
India Tourist Office
1270 Ave. of the Americas, Ste. 1808, 18th Fl.
New York, NY 10020
800-953-9399 or 212-586-4901; fax: 212-582-3274
www.indiatouristoffice.org
SOURCES:
DictHindu-1977, p. 177
WildPlanet-1995, p. 253