The feast of snakes. Process dedicated to the Saint Dominic, in the streets of Cocullo, in the Abruzzo region, Italy on May 1, 2019.
The Mayor of Cocullo with snakes in hand before the procession.The feast of snakes. Process dedicated to the Saint Dominic, in the streets of Cocullo, in the Abruzzo region, Italy on May 1, 2019.
The St. Domenico's procession in Cocullo, central Italy. Every year on the first of May, snakes are placed onto the statue of St. Domenico and then the statue is carried in a procession through the town. St. Domenico is believed to be the patron saint for people who have been bitten by snakes:
Italy, Cocullo, in the Province of L'A...quila, is at 870 meters a.s.l., along the railway line connecting Sulmona to Rome. The village rises alongside Mount Luparo (1327 meters) "The valley opening in front of the village is surrounded by bare rocks, while on the other side, to the south, snow-capped mountain crests follow one after the other..."
San Domenico Abate lived in the 10th and 11th centuries AD. Born in Foligno, in the Umbria region, he started his pilgrimages, preaching and ascetic practices in Central Italy, making miracles recorded by the word-of-mouth tradition. He died on 22 January 1031 and was buried in Sora.
Cocullo snake charmers are over with their snake hunting. They proceeded through the During the procession on the first in May, before the snakes are placed all over the statue of St. Dominick, they will be fed with milk kept in containers with crusca. It is the snake that, most of all other elements, expresses an ancestral myth: the unknown aspect and unpredictability of the natural environment with man's innate need to achieve the dominance on his own habitat.
Snakes and wolves were the emblems of Italic peoples like the Marsians and Irpinians. Some areas in Abruzzo, especially in the Sagittario valley, were under the menace of wolves and snakes, which for the local populations represented the uncertainty and anxiety of their existence that, together with the precariousness and hardships of life, were almost unbearable. Therefore the community adopted