The cowbells of San Mauro Forte are rung in mid-January each year during Carnival: a somber but deafening sound that spreads along the streets and alleys in an atmosphere of captivating mystery. The ancient ritual draws copious crowds of men wrapped in wheeled cloaks, with straw hats on their heads, holding large cowbells representing fertility. Cowbells are said to have apotropaic and propitiatory qualities, warding off evil and promoting a good harvest of the earth, according to popular belief. Popular legends about cowbells in San Mauro Forte suggest that they were created by local craftsmen and possess apotropaic and propitiatory qualities. In addition to traditional sausages and wine, they also serve as refreshment spots where travelers can enjoy excellent wine, fresh sausages and other local specialties.