The feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary kicks off Kefalonia’s season of summer festivals. It’s a national bank holiday, so every town and village gets in on the celebrations. Markopoulo leads the way, playing host to the traditional snake festival. For 10 days, small, harmless snakes slither their way to the town church, only to disappear on the big day itself. Legend has it these fork-tongued creatures were once nuns, transformed by the Virgin to escape a pirate attack. To mark the occasion, locals celebrate with singing, dancing and a banquet.