In photos: Italy’s annual snake competition within the village of Cocullo



A statue of Saint Domenico covered with live snakes is carried by faithfuls during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

Yearly folks in Cocullo, a small medieval city in Italy’s Abruzzo area, adorn a picket statue of its patron saint with reside snakes and parade it via the streets.

The “serpari” competition, on 1 Might, honours San Domenico di Sora for miraculously eradicating snakes from farmers’ fields within the 11th Century .

Nonetheless, additionally it is stated to originate from the traditional worship of Angitia, a Roman goddess of snakes worshipped by folks in central Italy.

Faithfuls in traditional clothing hold snakes to place them on the statue of Saint Domenico during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

Some folks put on outfits which are conventional to the Abruzzo area.

A faithful in traditional clothing carries a snake to place on the statue of Saint Domenico during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

Snake catchers and charmers – or serpari – catch 4 varieties of innocent snakes, earlier than handing them out to worshippers.

A faithful carries a snake to place on the statue of Saint Domenico during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

The snakes are then positioned gently on a picket statue of San Domenico.

A statue of Saint Domenico covered with live snakes is carried by faithfuls during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

Increasingly more snakes are added, till San Domenico is nearly utterly coated.

A statue of Saint Domenico covered with live snakes is carried by faithfuls during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

Presentational white space

The statue is then carried via the streets, held up excessive within the centre of an extended procession.

A statue of Saint Domenico covered with live snakes is carried by faithfuls during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

A statue of Saint Domenico covered with live snakes is carried by faithfuls during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

Presentational white space

Whereas many march alongside, some folks watch from their balconies.

After the competition, the snakes are launched again into the wild.

People watch from a balcony as a statue of Saint Domenico covered with live snakes is carried by faithfuls during an annual procession in the streets of CoculloPicture copyright
AFP

All photographs are topic to copyright

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