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National Serpent Day – February 1, 2023

National Serpent Day is observed annually on February 1. It’s a tradition that has been in practice for at least five years, as a way to encourage everyone to widen their understanding of snakes to overcome their fear of serpents.

History of National Serpent Day

National Serpent Day is observed every year to appreciate snakes. They have been known to humans for centuries and have evolved over an even greater period in history.

Snakes are perceived as the symbol of medicine, good, evil, fertility and have been seen as sacred since ancient times because of their venom. The venom is said to have healing properties that modern studies have proven can produce painkillers, drugs for hypertension, and even treatments for strokes, heart disease, and possibly even cancer.

The precise origin and history of National Serpent Day are not clear; however, the day has been set aside for at least five years as a way to encourage everyone to widen their understanding of snakes and to overcome their fear of serpents.

Historically, the origin of snakes being ‘evil’ as it is today is seen from the rhetoric of Adam and Eve and the role snakes played throughout biblical literature. It is as such for cunning Eve to consume from a tree forbidden by God. Eve’s act of obeying the snake instead of God’s instruction is assumed to be linked with the beginning of the bad things that happen presently according to Christianity. National Serpent Day is to rewrite the negative stories around snakes and inspire humans to reflect and come to grips with their fears for it. Most snakes are known to animal scientists as shy and retreating. None will attack a person unmolested.

Studies show snakes go as far as to coil up and rattle to warn approaching humans of their intention to be left alone and striking only as a last resort when they feel trapped or cornered.

National Serpent Day timeline

1869 — 1897
Edward Drinker Cope’s Findings

His contributions include extinct reptile fossils leading to an understanding of snakes.

1969
“Biology of the Reptilia” is First Published

It serves as a reference to topics on the evolution of amphibians and reptiles.

2001
Modern Research on Snakes Starts

The University of Texas publishes a survey on the ossification in neonatal squamates.

2015
The Oldest Snake Fossil Ever Is Found

A 113 million-year-old fossil of a four-legged snake is discovered in Brazil.

National Serpent Day FAQs

What do serpents symbolize?

Snakes are believed to represent power, good, evil, fertility and have healing powers. They can shed their skins and emerge reborn, thus they are also identified with the symbol of regeneration or rebirth and immortality.

What do snakes represent in tattoos?

Snakes are an ancient symbol of rebirth, temptation, fertility, and power that is often depicted in tattoo arts with those things in mind.

Can a snake love you?

Snakes may become tolerant toward their owners but in general, they aren’t affectionate toward humans.

How to Observe National Serpent Day

  1. Visit a nearby zoo

    Spend the day at a nearby zoo seeing the different snakes learning their distinct characteristics to observe National Serpent Day. Go as far as understanding how and why they react to a human invasion. You might even invite friends on your trip to uncover which one has the greater fear for the serpent and conquer your herpetophobia together!

  2. Learn about them

    Take National Serpent Day as a time to research snakes native to your area. Understand which ones are deadly and ways to recognize them. You might also read about ancient stories of how they are used in medicine or dive into modern literature to see the role they portray in them: Like Kaa in “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling, or Nagini in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.

  3. Celebrate on social media

    If you’re a snake lover, there’s no better way to observe National Serpent Day than posting selfies of yourself and your snake friend on social media to help everyone else overcome their fear of it. You can use #SerpentDay or #NationalSerpentDay to track discussion.

5 Things You Should Know About Snakes

  1. Snakes have remedial properties

    Snakes have been sacred since ancient times because their venom is thought to have healing properties and studies show it's used to produce painkillers and drugs for hypertension and might even help with treatments for strokes, heart disease, and maybe even cancer.

  2. There are thousands of snake species

    Researchers have identified roughly 3,000 species of snakes existing around the world.

  3. Snakes eat their prey whole

    Snakes are known for their ability to swallow as a whole, prey up to three times larger than the diameter of their head due to their upper and lower jaws being separate.

  4. They are mostly non-venomous

    According to scientists, only one out of eight of the known snake species are venomous.

  5. They sometimes give live birth

    Snakes are mostly known to lay eggs; others give live birth too.

Why National Serpent Day is Important

  1. It encourages overcoming our fear of serpents

    National Serpent Day’s purpose is to help us overcome our fears of snakes. It serves as a day to especially help us to form a friendly bond with the ancient animal.

  2. It helps us appreciate their existence

    Snakes are a symbol of power, good, evil, fertility, and have been known to have remedial properties useful to humans for ages. National Serpent Day serves as a day to appreciate their existence on earth for these reasons.

  3. It promotes our understanding of snakes

    The reason for National Serpent Day is to help give awareness of snakes with the hope that it would lead us to conquer our fears. On this day everyone is encouraged to take their time to research and learn about snakes native to their area.

National Serpent Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday
2025February 1Saturday
2026February 1Sunday
2027February 1Monday
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