The most important Sardinian holidays and festivities
Carnival in Sardinia (February)
In all the Sardinian towns and villages the carnival is celebrated every year. The ancient carnival traditions are really alive in towns like Tempio Pausania (they organize a parade in traditional or funny masks, including decorated carriages carrying dancing and singing people; burning king George in the main square the last day of carnival) or Mamoiada and its carnival parade of traditional dark wooden masks - Mamuthones a Issohadores (men wearing peltries, bells and whips and walking around making noise).
Saint Efisio holiday - Cagliari (May)
1st May in Cagliari is a holiday day. A hundreds of people from all over the island reach the capital wearing the traditional customs. All day long they go around and participate in a parade passing through the main streets of the town. Some of them walk, some ride horses or sit on the decorated carriages. The traditional music plays everywhere. This is an ancient tradition as in the passed time the people celebrated in this way Saint Efisio who protected Cagliari from the pestilence.
Sardinian Cavalcade - Sassari (May)
Every last Sunday of May the town of Sassari changes and becomes a stage for the parade in traditional customs. The customs are different almost in every single village and town of the island. The manifestation lasts all day long. The word cavalcata means riding a horse. A horse is one of the traditional animals in Sardinia and has an important role in everyday life of the local people.
Saint Simplicio holiday - Olbia (May)
15th May in Olbia is consecrated to St. Simplicio - the patron of Olbia. Bishop St. Simplicio lived in Olbia at the turn of the 3rd century. In Olbia there is the cathedral from the 11th century consecrated to him. It was built in the same place where the bishop was tortured before being thrown to the sea close to Tavolara island. Some fishermen say that in the exact point where his body sunk the water gurgles even nowadays. The holiday lasts one week. Except the holy mass many other cultural events are organized in the town.
Candle holiday - Sassari (August)
14th August is always a big holiday in Sassari. This is a day of Discesa dei candelieri - the most popular day in the town. This day is dedicated to Madonna who rescured the town from pestilence. The groups of men walk down the main street dancing and carrying the huge wooden columns symbolizing the candles. They follow the rhythm of the drums. At the end they stop in front of the church of St. Mary Bethlehem. This holiday is also called Festha manna. Since 2013 it makes part of the intangible cultural heritage UNESCO.
Crist holiday - Nuoro (August)
A very popular religious holiday Sagra del Redentore is hold every last Sunday of August in the mountain Orto Bene in Nuoro. This holiday is celebrated in Nuoro since 1901 when the bronze sculpture of Crist was placed above the town to protect it. The local people and many other Sardinians as well as tourists come for a holy mass and to pass a day in company of the folklore groups and choruses.