Every year in May a very ancient rite is celebrated in Cocullo, which has now become a sacred-profane festival.
It all began with the serpents who went out of the country in search of snakes at the end of March.
Once captured, they are carefully stored in wooden boxes (in ancient times inside terracotta containers) for 15-20 days feeding them with live mice and hard-boiled eggs.
This custom is linked to the pagan rites of the Marsi, an ancient Italic people.
In contemporary times it is celebrated in honor of St. Dominic who is considered protector of toothache, reptile bites and rage.
San Domenico was a Benedictine monk from Foligno who crossed Latium and Abruzzo, founding monasteries and hermitages.
In Cocullo he stopped for seven years, leaving one of his teeth and a horseshoe of his mule, which had become relics.
This is why on the morning of the anniversary, in the church dedicated to him, the faithful pull a chain with their teeth to keep their teeth in good health and then line up to collect the blessed land that is in the cave behind the niche of the saint .
The earth will then be kept in the house as protection from evil effects, spread in the fields to remove harmful animals or dissolved in water and drunk to fight fever.
This feast for some scholars is related to the cults of the goddess Angizia, venerated at the ancient Marsi.
For other scholars, however, it must be attributed to the mythology of Heracles. In fact in the hamlet of Casale were found votive bronzes representing his own Heracles that, as we know, strangled in the cradle the two snakes sent by Hera to kill him.