Mental Floss

Other Holidays to Look Forward to

Mangesh Hattikudur
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Since I'm single this Valentine's Day, I figured rather than mope about it, I should be more proactive and get my social calendar in order. That's why I'm penciling in a bunch of holidays to celebrate in advance, just to make sure that when the time comes I'm prepared. Sure, I might have "forgotten" to get myself a lady friend this Valentine's Day, but I guarantee you when The Festival of Snakes comes around, there's no way I'm going to be caught without my official Apollo t-shirt or my X-tra strength burlap snake sack!


If you dig: Legless creatures with forked tongues
Your holiday is: The Festival of Snakes, Italy
Celebrated every March 19th in the mountainous areas surrounding Abruzzo, the festival goes back to when the land was supposedly covered in so many slithering creatures that they were affecting human life spans. The solution, as prescribed to shepherds by Apollo, was to capture the dangerous beasts, tame them by draping them around the shoulders of his statue, and then release them back into the wild. The trick was so effective that the villagers have kept doing it ever since. Over the years however, Christianity's taken its toll, and Apollo's morphed into St. Domenica. Pyrotechnics have also been incorporated as fireworks are now a major part of the event.

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