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Traditional festivals in Sardinia

The Oristano's Sartiglia

Traditional festivals in Sardinia

Dedalo tour guides would like you to take part in the festivals known as Cortes Apertas (open courtyards) and in the most important festivals and feasts of Sardinia.

During “Cortes apertas” the inhabitants are keen to open their workshops and cellars to the public invited to share traditions and local products. We suggest an itinerary to the most typical feasts and festivals.

In January the S. Antonio Abate festival in Baronia and Barbagia represents Prometeo’s ancient cult of light, the titan who stole fire from the Gods to give it to mankind. A chance to admire the bonfires, sip local wine and eat typical cakes prepared with sapa (boiled must) and given for free to everybody. The most important festivals are the ones that take place during the month of February during Carnival. The Carnival that takes place in the Barbagia region represents the orgiastic Dionysian cult, the passion of the scapegoat that frees the whole community from evil with its death.



On 4th of October Lula celebrates S. Francesco with the inaugural ceremony of the new prior charged to organize the festival. S. Francesco is also celebrated in Aglientu and Alà dei Sardi. Dedalo tour guides suggest, for instance, an excursion to the evocative archaeological site of Nurattolos on the top of the mountain that towers above Alà. (See “personalized itineraries” section)

On 15th of October in S. Teresa takes place the festival in honour of S. Teresa from Avila. On the first Sunday of October there are in Aggius and Luras the festivals of the Virgin of the Rosary with a visit to the granite heaps of the Moon Valley, to the ethnographical museum of Luras and to the thousand year old wild olive trees next to the Liscia lake. On the second Sunday Telti celebrates S. Bachisio. Aritzo on the last Sunday of October celebrates the chestnuts festival. It is also a chance to admire the highest Sardinian mountains and to taste the famous nougat without forgetting to taste salami, cheese, honey, cakes and all the other typical products of the mountain. Do not miss a visit to the workshops where skilled craftsmen mould the bells of all the animals that graze in Sardinia. Each bell has a sound which differs from the others, as the shepherd has to identify an animal also from the sound of its bell. All bells are tuned on the same tone or halftone in order to have a harmonious sound for each flock and play a tune. Beauty is necessary everywhere!



On 30th of November Luogosanto celebrates S. Andrew. It is the right time to visit the Romanesque countryside churches of S.Trano and S. Leonardo and the ruins of the castles of Baldo and Balaiana.



On 8th of December to Our lady of Intremontes in Ittireddu with a visit to the archaeological museum, to the church of S. Pietro of Sorres, to the nuraghe of S. Antine and to the “Domus de Janas” of S. Andrea Priu. A visit to the nearby medieval village of Rebeccu for lunch is a must.

On 13th of December Tempio Pausania celebrates S. Lucia, a good occasion to visit a cork workshop.
Siligo on 23rd celebrates S. Vittoria and therefore a visit to the Benedictine church of the saints Elia and Enoch on the top of Monte Santo and to the Byzantine church of S. Maria of Bubalis dated back to the VIII°-IX° century.



On the night of 16th in Sardinia we celebrate the ancient rite of Prometeo’s fire. It is celebrated in Orosei and Dorgali according to tradition with the lighting of a big bonfire. Special cakes known as Pistiddos and the new wine are offered by the several wine producers of the village.

In Mamoiada there is the first parade of the “Mammuthones”, the black masks of the archaic carnival. In Torpé people burn big ships which are made of perfumed rosemary branches and are pulled on carts.
On 19 th in Dorgali on S. Sebastian’s day, the inhabitants prepare another bonfire like the one prepared on S. Antonio Abate’s day (S. Anthony the Abbot).



On Thursday before Lent, Sunday and Shrove Tuesday in Tempio Pausania there is a parade with masks and carnival floats.
Gavoi celebrates carnival on Sunday and on Shrove Tuesday with the obsessive music of the drums played by the Tumbarinos.
In Mamoiada the characteristic “Mammuthones”, in Ottana the animal like costumes of “Boes” and “Merdules” and of the obscure witch known as “Filonzanas”.
In Orotelli the gloomy “Thurpos”, in Samugheo the diabolic “Mamutzones” that persecute the scapegoat represented by “Urtzu”. On Ash Wednesday in Ovodda “Sos intintos” smear their face with ashes and mud.
In Oristano for the “Sartiglia” an androgynous horseman “Su Componidori” has to strike the star shaped ring with his spear to celebrate the propitiatory rite of fecundity.



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