Kartika sukla chavithi (Naga Chaturthi) is the fourth day of kartika masa and is popular as Nagula chavithi mainly in Andra pradesh. But in many parts of India, Sravana sukla panchami is famous as Nagapanchami(A holy day to worship snake gods). According to Chaturvarga chintamani, people has to perform Naga vratha on Kartika sukla chavithi. So once upon a time, Kartika sukla chavithi may be famous in all over India to worship sarpa devata. In India Nagapuja is very famous, idols of snakes, snake pits are seen in many temples.
Important rituals on this day are
Devotees wake up early in the morning, do a holy dip in near by pond or river and go to near by temples with idols of Sarpa devatas or to their pits, perform puja. They offer kukum, turmeric powder, lighten deepas and offer milk, eggs, fruits, flowers, chalimidi(sweet). Some people do puja at home to the idols of snakes made by clay or silver and offer naivedya. Many people fast for the whole day.
Mahatva: There are many popular beliefs about the peculiar effects of Nagapuja
Women without children worship Sarpadevata to get children and for the well being of them. People with eye problems, ear problems worship Sarpadevata also collect holy clay from snake pits, apply on ears and eyelids. Many people believe that by the sight of snakes in dreams, they will get enormous wealth. Jangamas (a group of worshippers of Lord Shiva) also worship Sarpadevata by considering them as decoration to their god Lord Shiva.
A story is in vogue about the relation between Naga puja and getting children. According to Brahma purana, Once upon a time there was a king by the name surasena. He had no children for a long time. Then he along with his wife had done a penance for getting children. After that his wife became pregnant, but delivered a snake. They raised the snake itself as their son. After few years, snake got an ability to converse with humans and asked the parents to do marriage to him. Then king had done marriage with a princess by sending a knife. Princess came to her uncle's palace and knew that her husband is a snake. But she was not afraid and living happily with the snake. The snake had asked that, why you are not afraid of me?. Then she said that, for every wife her husband is equal to god , so i had no fear with you.
Then the snake said that by the curse of Lord Shiva, he got the sarpa rupa. After that they had a holy dip in Goutami river and worshipped Lord Shiva. Then the snake is freed from the curse and got human form.