|A Bait Believers Ready to Bite (standard:non fiction, 488 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Oct 24 2015||Views/Reads: 576/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
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A Bait Believers Ready to Bite Red ants build high-rise dirt mounds as nests by digging deep into the ground and bringing out soil particle one by one. Once built, these dirt mounds as high as five feet can be visible from a distance in rural open areas outside the urban sprawl in India. According to folklore, wondering snakes looking for nests to rest, drive the ants from their nests to make their own. Whether snakes really live in the ant mounds or not, they come to symbolize as snake nests. Snake is sacred to Hindus; it is feared and worshipped at the same time. There are temples dedicated to worship snake god across the country. Nagula Chavithi is an annual Hindu ceremony to celebrate Snake God. On the day of celebration, devotees line up from early morning at the temples to worship snake god. They offer milk and fruits to the deity for forgiveness and protection from the calamities and evil. The worship at the temples conducted the by Hindu priests was more traditional with chanting and rituals. Some devotees however prefer to worship the live snakes in their natural habitat. They travel distances to nearby villages known to have snake nests. They pour milk and drop eggs into the nests for snakes to devour the offerings. People in rural areas with ant mounds on their fields become entrepreneurs for that day encouraging the devotees to visit the dirt mounds on their land to worship for a fee. As the open areas around the towns and cities were disappeared from urban sprawl, the natural habitat for ants and snakes disappeared with it. With no new dirt mounds built by red ants and the existing ant mounds were removed for new construction, the die-hard snake god devotees were found themselves in quandary. While the traditional snake god temples do provide worship services on the auspicious day, the staunch followers of snake god wants to conduct worship at the ant mounds. Some urban entrepreneurs came out with a novel idea to build portable red-ant mound look-alike as small shrines to worship snake god on the day of celebration. These mobile mounds made from red clay appear natural like dirt mounds built by ants in the open fields. Conveniently, Holes on the mound provide openings for devotees to pour milk and eggs as part of worship. Each hole is designated either to receive milk or eggs. Containers were placed inside the hollow mounds to collect either eggs or milk through a chute that connects the exterior holes to the containers. These portable snake mounds pop up at convenient locations for city dwellers to perform worship their beloved snake god. For die-hard devotees travelling to rural areas to worship live snakes that never existed in the ant mounds, the symbolic portable ant mounds erected at the street corners though look bizarre were easy access after all it is all about belief. Tweet
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