The most important Snake festival of West Bengal is Jhapan Mela. It is celebrated in the month of Shravan Maas (July-August) at Bishnupur village in Bankura district of Kolkata.
Annually organized, all over India to worship Goddess of Snake- Manasa and the serpents around, this year, Jhapan Mela would fall on 17th of August as per Hindu calendar.
It is one of the renowned Snake festivals of West Bengal, cheerfully admired among the local tribe residents and has an agrarian-tribal origin. Local snake-charmers- Jhampanias fetched numerous varieties of snakes and serpents in and around Kolkata villages, especially- Bishnupur to play wisely with the tricks to outwit these reptiles such as- cobras, pythons, vipers and more.
It is said that Goddess-Manasa is worshipped uniquely and dominates all the large serpents on this earth with her ultimate power and authority over.
She is being greatly admired and the rituals of religious veneration and devotion followed by various tribal- folks are magnificently different.
On this Snake festival- Jhapan Mela, the devotees, especially women observe a strict fast and offer milk to snakes in their religious vicinities of the temples nearby. Fishermen take snakes for a traditional bathe at their nearby river along with a procession of Manasa Devi deity (made up of clay) by chanting mantras and singing sacred songs Mother Manasa is esteemed as the Goddess of curing Snake bites and other hazardous diseases and illnesses such as- smallpox, chickenpox etc and is also honoured for opulence and fertility in Kolkata and other villages.