Girl wearing a snake: boys and girls wear snakes days before the procession of St. Dominic, which is held the first of May in Cocullo, Central Italy.
Weighing the snakes: a little boy calms down a snake by putting his hands over the animal’s head. As stated by the law snakes census is taken by specialists who fill a special registry, each year measuring sizes and checking up health conditions of the animals. The snakes are microchipped and the day after the festival they are released back in the woods.
Children play with snakes: in the days before the procession local children carry snakes for fun.
Local people #1: a young man proudly showing three snakes during the procession of St. Dominic in Cocullo, Italy.
Local people #2: a young man carrying a big snake, shows it to astonished tourists in the crowd before the procession of St. Dominic in Cocullo.
A tourist adorned with a snake: a local old man offers a snake to a tourist to wear as a necklace to participate in the St. Dominic’s procession.
St. Dominic exits the Church and is draped with snakes: as prohibited by the religion, snakes cannot enter the church and therefore the statue can be draped with snakes only once the procession is outside.
St. Dominic is taken around the village: the St. Dominic statue is carried in procession draped with snakes, following a centuries long tradition.
St. Dominic is taken back to the Church: the Church of St. Mary of Graces in Cocullo was declared a national monument and dates back to the 13th century. It has a rectangular Romanesque-Gothic façade which is typical of the religious architecture of the Abruzzo region.
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