Festivals & Events
RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS, FOLK EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS IN SARDINIA
A ‘Sagra’ is a country festival held outdoors, featuring live folk music, customary dances, parades with traditional Sardinian costumes, Barbagia masks, local delicacies and games.
Festivals in Sardinia are also unique opportunities to discover hidden and little-known places on the island and take delight in the great hospitality of the Sardinian people.
Throughout the year, from north to south, each small town welcomes you with its very own festival. The streets are filled with vendors selling handicrafts, agro-pastoral products, fine wines and lots of fun.
To discover what Zipola is, all you need do is attend the Festival of Zipola in Narbolia on March 5, in the province of Oristano, and taste all of its goodness. It is a delicious typical dessert originating from Sardinia’s carnival tradition and made with a simple recipe.
During the festival in Narbolia, the skilled hands of the inhabitants prepare these delicacies in sizzling frying pans. Between one zipola and another you can also enjoy other typical dishes accompanied by Narbolia wine in the suggestive atmosphere of the town in celebration around you.
In March the Buggerru Sea Urchin Festival takes place. Buggerru’s small port comes alive with people who prepare dishes and others who come to taste the dishes on offer. During the festival you can enjoy delicious sea urchins prepared according to delicious recipes.
In addition to sea urchin, you can enjoy a slice of Civraxiu washed down by wine, flavours that sample the simplicity of ‘poor’ seafood cuisine.
Easter Monday in Tonara features a sweet and crunchy flavour. It tastes of almonds, walnuts and honey from the woods and the mountains.
In the small town in the province of Nuoro, you are invited to celebrate the Torrone festival in Tonara.
You can sample fresh and warm nougat straight out of the ‘sa forredda’, a brick oven heated with holly wood in which the nougat is processed and prepared just like it was two hundred years ago.
In May the Festival of Mussels takes place in Olbia, coinciding with celebrations on the occasion of the most important religious holiday in the Gallura region. Simplicio of Olbia was the first Bishop in Sardinia to be accounted for in historical records and he is the only Sardinian bishop to have been adorned with the palm of martyrdom.
The Patron saint feast day in his honour is celebrated every year on May 15, consisting of processions, dances in costume, recitations of poems, traditional games and fireworks. The arrival of the statue of the saint on the “Re di Puglia” waterfront is accompanied, as per tradition, by the Fire Brigade who, with the help of a cherry picker, sprinkle rose petals as a sign of gratitude.
The celebrations end with a tasty feast of mussels, a Sardinian delicacy, cooked marinara-style in a giant pan or baked ‘au gratin’ in various ovens and washed down with several litres of wine.
Gonnosfanadiga hosts the Gonnesa festival of traditional bread. Sa Moddixina, su Civraxiu, da sa lada a sa pillunca, coccoi semolina bread and breads flavoured with olives and cheese are some of the types of bread that are produced in Gonnosfanadiga.
There are seven bakeries present in the small town in the Gonnesa region that continue to produce this foodstuff, the foundation of the Mediterranean diet.
The town is closely linked to bread, Gonnosfanadiga is a member of the National Cities of Bread Association and each year organises the Gonnesa festival of traditional bread, an invaluable festival where disparate flavours blend together.
There are places in Sardinia where the combination of nature and culture offers unforgettable emotions. The streets and views become stages and magnificent scenery, immersed in nature that is already a veritable spectacle in itself.
Warm July nights become magical at the Roman Amphitheatre in Nora which hosts the "Nights of the poets" festival.
During the Tavolara Film Festival, the cinema features a starry vault and offers breathtaking natural scenery. The unique and particularly exciting location is situated under the starry skies of Tavolara, an uninhabited island which becomes the cinema for the Film Festival. The island has been defined "as the most charming outdoor arena in the world and a true cinema paradise".
During summer and throughout the rest of the year, let Sardinia's big heart give you an ever varied experience.
CARNIVALS AND RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS IN SARDINIA
A PROUD LAND, FIRMLY LINKED TO ITS TRADITIONS SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME
The Sartiglia Tournament is the first event of the year within Sardinian tradition. It is a horse race that has taken place for approximately the last 500 years along the streets of the town of Oristano, on the Sunday before Lent and Mardi Gras. For two days the farmers’ and carpenters’ guilds face each other. The competition is overseen by the “Su Componidori” who designate which riders will take part in the race for the stars. The greater the number of stars skewered on the horsemen’s swords, the better the harvest, the fortune of each guild and the entire community. Attending the ceremony early in the morning is interesting, as you can watch the dressing of the “Su Componidori” by the “Massaieddas”.
A meeting of colours, costumes, traditions, the soul of the religious tourism that is winning more and more fans: the Feast of Saint Efisio, which opens, as is customary, on May 1 in Cagliari with the “is traccas”, festive decorated carts. The traditional procession follows, featuring 3,500 people in traditional clothes from all over Sardinia and more than 200 people on horseback divided into three main groups: the Campidanesi, Miliziani and Guardiania.
The procession ends with the statue of the Saint being accompanied to Nora, in the church of the saint’s martyrdom, where the statue remains until May 4 when it is taken back to the church in Stampace.
The third Monday after Easter marks the beginning of the festivities in honour of Saint Antiochus Martyr, protector and patron saint of the island of Sardinia. This is the first date of a festival that is also celebrated on August 1, to commemorate the dedication of the church and to give thanks for the harvest, and on November 13, the day of the saint’s death.
The festival, the origin of which dates back to 1615 (the year the relics were discovered), is opened on the Saturday before the festival with the parade of the “Is coccois”.
Women prepare semolina bread called “Coccois de su Santu” for the occasion, decorated with floral motifs and small birds and adorned with fragments of gold paper. The ‘Is coccois’ are carried by groups of the faithful into the Basilica and are kept there to adorn the statue and relics for a few weeks.
The celebrations continue with the parade of traccas and folk costumes originating from all over the island and winding along the town’s streets, following the statue of the saint. In addition to the air of celebration, the inhabitants of Sant’Antioco display feelings of faith and devotion to the saint, who they entrust with the protection of their loved ones.