Oh, goody, somebody started a thread about St. Patrick's Day. This means I don't have to.
Okay, listen up. This part ain't humor. This is the REAL poop on St. Patty, and that famous legend about the snakes.
There aren't snakes in Ireland. Never have been. There WERE Druids in Ireland. They had purple snake tattoos on their arms (I don't know why, but then again I don't know why anybody gets tattoos.) Patrick and his brethren persecuted them a great deal, essentially driving them to extinction.
Hence, the symbolism of driving the "snakes" from Ireland in actuality refers to the destruction of the original native religion.
And THAT is why, on the 17th, instead of green, I wore every scrap of Druidic stuff I could get my hands on. (And caused a stir when one of the Fundie ladies who frequents the library "mistook" my necklace pendant for a "Satanic" symbol.)