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Religious Feasts
ARDIA>THE ORIGINS OF ARDIA
 
THE ORIGINS OF ARDIA
 
  • According to the tradition, Ardia celebrates the victory of Emperor Costantino against Massenzio, which took place near the Milvio Bridge in 312 A.D. 
    But its origins certainly go back to more remote times.
    They may go back to the nuragic period, as the presence of a "bètilo" (known as pedra de Santu Antine) in the sacred area seems to prove; the "bètilo" represents a feminine divinity connected to the rituals of fertility. 


  • In time, the  heathen meaning (also connected to a pause in the agricultural cycle before harvest time) slowly lost its importance, absorbed by Christianity.
    Since ancient times, in fact, many believers came to the festivity from all over Sardinia, often by foot: they were given shelter in so-called  muristenes, that are still visible today beside the Court de Santu Antine.    

  • The religious matrix is still the basic element of the festivity: the last goal of the race is, in fact, the Sanctuary. 
    The riders make the ritual turns around the sanctuary, along with many believers too, who, by foot or on their knees, keep their vows or simply demonstrate devotion to the Saint.  

    An ancient festival is associated to the festivity, inside the space in front of the Sanctuaryvaluable handicrafts are sold, along with food and drinks. 

photos: P.C. Murru
 

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