Snakes cover St. Domenico's statue during procession in Cocullo
The St. Domenico's procession in Cocullo, central Italy, is held every year on the first day 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'Aquila, 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...".he horseshoe marks above the door of a house in Cocullo commemorate the St. Dominick's female mule, the protagonist of some of the miracles inspired by the Saint. Myth and religion are the two sides of one same story. In a nearby area called "Via del lupo" (Wolf's Path), the oral tradition says there is the impression left by the knee of St. Dominick, who knelt down on the spot to recite his prayers...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 Thursday 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.