Worship of snakes; from the Greek ophis "snake" and latreia "worship". It is one of the oldest forms of worship and appears to have been practised throughout the ancient world. Minoan snake goddesses are depicted holding serpents, which have traditionally been associated with wisdom and medicine. In India, "naga panchami" is a Hindu festival in which cobras (nagas) are worshipped with milk and flowers.
The Minoans practised ophiolatreia, as can be seen from their snake-wielding goddess. The worship of cobras in India is similarly ophiolatrous.
by fomalhaut October 22, 2011