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Festa dei Serpari

01/05/2018

The Serpari Festival takes place in May in Cocullo, a town which still has strong ties to the ancient pagan traditions practised by the peoples who lived in this area long before the arrival of the Romans. This, along with ancestral beliefs, Christian devotions and a great deal of folklore are the historical bases of the event devoted to St. Dominic. Preparation for the very popular folk event begins in April when the serpari (snake-charmers) go out into the surrounding forests to capture snakes of the cervone, saettone, biacco and biscia del collare species. The reptiles are placed on the statue of St. Dominic and
after some rituals in his honor, it is carried in procession among devotees in traditional dress or brandishing ancient symbols, in front of thousands of on-lookers. Once the quaint day of celebration ends, the snakes are again gathered by the serpari and brought back into the woods.

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