Sant’Efisio festival: a tradition that colors Cagliari city
Sant’Efisio: the ancient festival of Sardinia
Vacations are the ideal moment to relax and re-establish the balance between body and mind. With beneficial treatments like thalassotherapy, the holidays also represent an opportunity to know ancient traditions like the folk festival of San’Efisio, celebrating the patron saint of Cagliari, on the 1st of May every year.
Any traveler would love to visit Forte Village in the south of Sardinia, an oasis of peace and relaxation immersed in unspoiled natural beauty surrounded by long white sand beaches and crystalline water of the Sardinian sea.
Just 45 minutes’ drive from Cagliari, stay at the resort in one of the elegant hotels, splendid suites or luxury villas, and experience the annual festival of Sant’Efisio, every 1st of May.
The festival of Sant’Efisio has maintained its charm since 1656, the town attracts participants from all over the Island and from around the world.
Sant’Efisio is an opportunity to understand the culture of an entire population and has a spectacular procession of 3,500 figures dressed in traditional clothing. During this time Cagliari attracts more than 30 thousand people.
Together with the Barefoot Run, this festival is one of the best known in Sardinia. It originated in the second half of the 17th century when Casteddu, the Sardinian name of the city, suffered a terrible Plague epidemic. The city suffered more or less ten thousand victims, including archbishop don Bernardo De La Cabra, one of the most important religious figures of that time.
The story says, when there was no hope left Sant’Efiso appeared in front of viceroy count Lemos and asked for there to be a procession on the 1st of May so to free the city from the epidemic.
In 1656 the municipal administration made a perpetual undertaking to the holy martyr: if he managed to save the town from the illness, every 1st of May they would organize great festivities with a procession leading from the neighborhood of Stampace to Nora, where the saint met the martyr.
Sant’Efisio welcomed the citizens’ prayers and made it rain abundantly, washing away the Plague. Since then, the 1st of May 1657, the Saint is worshipped every year with one of the longest procession in Europe, participants dressed in traditional clothing walk for 4 days, covering 65 km distance while singing Traccas, Goccius, and Launeddas.
Sant’Efisio: an appointment on the 1st of May 2020 in Cagliari
Sant’Efisio has been considered the most important and suggestive religious festivals in Sardinia for over three centuries.
From the 1st to the 4th of May, festivities invade Cagliari with color, including via Roma, one of the main streets of the city which is covered with yellow, red and pink rose petals by the tradition of Sá Ramadura.
“Everything begins in the morning of the first of May in the churchyard of Stampace, where thousands of people come to assist the departure of the procession which initially winds around the streets of the historical center” says Francesco Cacciuto, the youngest president of the Sant’Efisio confraternity.
In Cagliari, faith in Sant’Efisio is strong, alive and common. Many of the faithful arrive from many parts of Sardinia with over two hundred horsemen from the Campidano region, militiamen and guards.
Every year there are also more tourists who watch the festivities from the squares and sidewalks.
Alessandro Ligas, secretary of the confraternity banner of Sant’Efisio says: “A charismatic saint, attracting not only believers, but also agnostics and atheists who are sometimes converted because of the unexplainable force attracting them during the festivities”
The cult and faith for the martyr Saint bring to Sardinia a devotional walk like that of Santiago. The objective is to improve the practicability of the course for the faithful and for tourists, giving exposure to important locations and churches and to promote naturalistic, archeological and historically and culturally important arrears along the road from Cagliari to Nora.
“For years we have been waiting to be recognized by the UNESCO so our celebration of Sant’Efisio can become a humanitarian immaterial heritage. Soon the restoration works of the walk will commence” explains Cacciuto, president of the confraternity.
An extraordinary walk passing by the churches of Giorgino and su Loi, proceeding towards Sarroch and Villa San Pietro until Pula, then returning towards Stampace where Sant’Efisio is greeted by thousands of festive people with a special augury: a atrus annus!
Would you like to live an unforgettable vacation immersed in the splendid atmosphere of the Sant’Efisio festival? Discover Forte Village Resort In Sardinia.