On Nagara chadurthi day, we used to prepare chigali using raw sesame seeds. Clean raw sesame seeds and take equal quantity of jaggery for preparing chigali. Grind sesame seeds, elaichi and coconut with little or no water. In a pan put jagger and sprinkle little water for dissolving it. Heat it to make a syrup and filter it using a sieve for removing dust and small stones. In a vessel put jaggery syrup and put ground mixture. Put little ghee and mix well. Make small sesame laddus called chigali. On Garuda panchami day, the same process has to be repeated using dry roasted sesame seeds. While mixing, the contents can be cooked in a pan for sometime. There will be a difference in taste.
We prepare thembittu for many festivals. The method of preparation differs from house to house. Some use rice powder alone. Some others use rice powder mixed with wheat powder or hurikadale(pottukadale) powder. Take the flour as per your convenience. Put jaggery in a pan and add water. When the jaggery is fully dissolved in water, filter it using a sieve. Again put jaggery water in the pan and add flour, powdered elaichi & coconut. Mix well and switch off gas. When it becomes cool, prepare 5 thembittu laddus. Make a hole in the centre and keep the bottom flat. Put ghee and thiri in the centre portion. Keep 5 thembittu deepas in a plate while taking aarathi.
The fourth day of shravana masa is celebrated as Naagara Chadhurthi. Usually, mothers do this pooja for the wellbeing of the children in Madhva houses. “Madi dress” is required for doing this pooja. After taking oil bath, we have to wear madi dress.
The idol of Nagaraja has to be kept in a plate and we have to do abhishekam with unboiled milk. Pour little water, then milk and again water, for doing abhishekam(3 times). After doing abhishekam, we have to perform puja to Nagaraja in the usual manner with kunkumam, manjal, akshadai, chandan and flowers. Poonool has to be offered to Nagaraja. The gejavasthra has to be prepared using turmeric powder and not with kunkum. Chiguli using raw sesame seed(ell) and thembittu have to be prepared. Using turmeric powder, we have to draw two nagaras, one big and one small(signifying mother and child) near the front door of the house(inviting them to come inside).
We have to do puja for these also, as done for nagaraja. No fried items are to be prepared on this day. The neivedhyam items are chiguli, thamboolam, milk, curd, aval and mango. Karpoora aarathi, deepa aarathi, thembittu aarathi and sodal aarathi using turmeric instead of kunkum are to be taken. If possible, we have to go to snakepit(haamu huthu) and do all the poojas in the same manner. We can offer milk also. Mothers usually observe fasting on this day. In the evening, they take wheat rava upma or aval. They won’t take milk on this day, as it is offered to Nagaraja.
On the next day, we observe “Garuda panchami”. Much madi is not required and all the family members have to perform the puja for the wellbeing of their siblings. No vratha also. We have to use fried sesame for preparing chiguli. We have to draw nagaras in such a way of going out from the house. We have to perform puja in the same manner as done on previous day. We can use kunkum for preparing gejavasthra.
Some people say that Naga chadurthi is celebrated to remember the act of Lord Shiva by drinking “Aalahala poison” to save the universe. Some others say that it signifies the “Kalinga Narthana” of Lord Krishna. Some others say that to remove snake curses(naaga dhosham), we do these pujas. The bad influence of Rahu and Kethu are removed by doing these pujas. Whatever it is, it is good to worship Nagaraja and Garuda atleast once in a year.