Every year, a few days before the Assumption of Mary, the snakes get out nearby the church of Mary of the snakes. Crowds of believers come by to see the snakes and even touch them so that they get blessed by them.
This is a very big celebration for the city of Patras in Peloponnese. Saint Andreas is the patron saint of the city and this is his name day, so this celebration is one of the biggest religious celebrations of Patras.
A custom related to a very old local legend, regarding a ghost protecting a local fountain, Charmaina. The legend said that there were more ghosts protecting other places and they would fight amongst them many times. The locals would hear the screams and hide in their homes. A quite spectacular event which gets very crowded.
We understood that Indian Gods can create life and also destroy it, being evil or extremely good at the same time. Suddenly things were making sense for us, we were at home now. Happy Holy !