I read an interesting tidbit somewhere (wish I remembered where) about "St. Patrick's Day" being reclaimed by some Pagans as "All Snakes Day." The idea is along the lines of celebrating snakes and pagans rather than carrying on the covert or overt themes that suggest St. Patrick driving snakes out of Ireland is a metaphor for Christianity driving the old faith out. I like the idea of celebrating it as "All snakes day." So enjoy, and hug a snake today. I'll include a picture of my coauthor, Gwen, doing just that at a Salem Witches' Ball.
Snakes are often associated with transition and sensuality, and connection to the earth. Snakes and other reptiles are also often associated with the element of fire. Many ancient traditions associate snakes with knowledge...especially spiritual or magical knowledge.
In celebration of All Snakes Day, I did a veganized version of a traditional St. Patrick's day type dinner (as I remember growing up). I made soda bread from Veganomicon (Isa Chandra) and boiled dinner from Betty Goes Vegan. Here are some photos to show that we can have yummy, traditional and cultural foods without any animal products!