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Religious Feasts
TRADITIONS IN SARDINIA>SANT'EFISIO>DESCRIPTION
 

first page | when and where | the origins | description | The Saint | points of interest 

 

DESCRIPTION

  • The population of Stampace and Marina, which are the historical areas of the city, participate in this celebration with great devotion and intensity.
    A few days before the 1st of May the statue of the Saint is prepared by the Arci­confraternity and by the sisters from the Confraternity: the statue is dressed and decorated and the ox cart is prepared and decorated. Dressing the Saint is a very particular rite and the people who participate follow a ritual which has not changed throughout the centuries.
  • On the1st of May, after a solemn Mass the procession starts at midday. The statue of Saint Efisio, Sant'Efisi (as he is called by the people from Cagliari) which su Carradori beautifully adorned, is taken, from the little church in Stampace, on an ox cart. The statue is taken from Stampace and through the streets of Cagliari which are lined by throngs of people: the faithful, tourists and the curious.
  • This festival is in S. Efisio's honour and along the route Cagliari is an explosion of colours and people from all over the Island follow the statue.
    The procession through the streets of the city centre starts two hours before the statue of the Saint leaves the church at midday.
  • The trakkas, typical Sardinian ox drawn carts, are at the front of the procession. They are beautifully decorated with tapestries, lace and flowers and carry produce and handicrafts from the rural areas.
    The trakkas are followed by hundreds of people who come from villages from all over Sardinia who walk as a sign of devotion wearing the traditional costumes of their villages. The colours and designs of the costumes, the songs and the music, the composure and devotion in honour of the Saint, all combine to create a very evocative atmosphere.
  • Then it is the turn of dozens of horsemen in their traditional costumes who ride horses that have been specially prepared for the procession..
    Just before the Saint comes into view the armed Militia pass. They are proud and elegant horsemen in red velvet jackets and tall hats who escort the ox cart of the Saint.
  • The ox cart of the Saint is preceded by the "Guardiania" (is dottoris, who, in ancient times, were chosen among the nobles), the representatives of the Alternos Confraternity (in the past this was the viceroy, nowadays it is the mayor or his representative), the escort and the musicians playing their Launeddas.
  • While in the city the festival continues till late in the night, Saint Efisio is taken to Nora which is a village near Pula about 35 km. from Cagliari.
    Before the statue reaches Nora, where Saint Efisio was martyred in 305 AD, the statue stops in many villages and places: Giorgino, La Maddalena Spiaggia, Su Loi, Villa d'Orri and Sarroch where the statue spends the night in the church of Santa Vittoria.
  • After three days the statue of the Saint is taken back to Cagliari.

 
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