Identity and passion: traditional festivities last all year round
Throughout the year, you will be inebriated by the events that have been handed down over the centuries. The enchantment of the traditions begins in January with Fireworks celebrating Saint Anthony, bringing to life dozens of communities in the heart of the Island. In February, there are the compelling and mysterious celebrations of the Carnivals: every village has its own special events and masks. Not to be missed are the acrobatic exhibitions on two or three horses at a time, known as the “Pariglia” during the Sartiglia in Oristano, the ancestral dances of Mamuthones in Mamoiada and Merdules in Ottana, as well as the allegorical festivities in Bosa and the Tempio Pausania, where people live for the festivities all year round. At Easter, the passion of the Holy Week rituals lives again in numerous towns and villages, each with its own special characteristics. These are particularly famous in Aggius, Alghero, Castelsardo, Iglesias and Oliena.
May is the month of identity: let yourself be carried away by the passion of the events that embody the spirit of the island and in which thousands of visitors find themselves involved in the inebriating atmosphere of ancestral traditions. Beginning with the Celebration of Saint Ephysius: this has been the most important event for over three and a half centuries in Cagliari, but it can also be considered the celebration of the whole of Sardinia, due to the joint participation of the entire population of the Island. Following close behind, in quick succession, one per week, are the celebrations of Saint Francis in Lula and the celebrations in honour of Saint Simplicio in Olbia, uniting the sacred and the profane. The tradition of identity in May closes with a lay event: the Cavalcata Sarda (Sardinian Cavalcade, in 2022 postponed to September), dating back to the end of the 19th century, the charm of which has remained unchanged: hundreds of horsemen and horsewomen and thousands of people in costume parade through Sassari.
Identities, colours, sounds and folklore return in the summer. At the beginning of July, don’t miss the Ardia di Sedilo horse race. August is the high point. The day before the 15 August Ferragosto holiday, comes the Discesa dei Candelieri (Descent of the Candlesticks), a dancing procession of large symbolic candles that takes place along the streets of Sassari and has been repeated, always identically, for five centuries. At the end of the month, there is the Sagra del Redentore (Celebration of the Redeemer) in Nuoro, a profound, balanced combination of devotion and lay tradition.
Just a few days later, in Cabras, the land of the Giants, you can breathe an air of solemn spirituality with the Corsa degli Scalzi (Barefoot Race), a unique procession that has also been repeated, always identically, for five centuries. You can then enjoy the enchantment of the way in which weddings were celebrated in the past, one of the most charming and unusual memories handed down in Sardinia, thanks to the Antico Sposalizio (Ancient Wedding) at Selargius and to the Sa Coia Maureddinaat Santadi in Sulcis. In the same period, in Bosa’s medieval district and the castle of the Malaspina, you can hear the echoes of the gosos, the singing of the choirs, during the festival of Nostra Signora de Sos Regnos Altos, while in Quartu Sant’Elena there is the staging of the Sciampitta, one of the ultimate expressions of Sardinian folklore.