26 to 28 february 2017

The Sartiglia is a unique and spectacular equestrian event. It takes place the last Sunday and the last Tuesday of Carnival. The name comes from the Spanish sortija (ring) and, even more, from the Latin sorticola (ring); The root sors means fortune.

As its name indicates the ritual of Sartiglia is linked to luck and fortune, it celebrates the beginning of spring and then the renaissance. Sa pipia de maju (mazzo di mammole in Italian = wild band) is a species of scepter that carries Su Componidori, the undisputed star of Sartiglia. The scepter, symbol of fertility, is shaken by Su Componidori when he passes horse crowd during the opening ceremony.

Su Componidori, is, as has been said, the most important figure of the party. He has a picturesque personality, it takes an androgynous mask, man and woman, at the same time, to emphasize the alternation between a near figure and that of a deity.

The Su Componidori dress is a long journey that precedes the event and is considered one of the most intense and evocative moments of the whole event.
All this is done in public, and it is the women, with in the traditional dress of Sardinia, who deal with this solemn ritual.

Once is dressed Su Cumponidori, accompanied by the sound of trumpets and drums, along with his Second and his Third (Segundu Cumponi and Tertzu Componi), it happens the ceremony of blessing with sa pipia de maju, and he is the first in a galloping and downhill attempt, to reach the silver star.

From then on, 117 riders galloped through the narrow streets of the city center, trying to pierce with their sword the coveted silver star. After the race, the pariglia begins, an equestrian event whose protagonists are expert horsemen who participate in spectacular acrobatics on horseback. Divided into groups of three, riders perform impressive acrobatics, though they are very dangerous.

As already mentioned, the origins of Sa Sartiglia are Spanish and extended between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries.
In Spain, even today, there are very similar festivals, such as San Juan in Ciudadela de Menorca, and also another in Croatia, the Alka of Sinj, another equestrian very important and old with origin of more than 300 years.

The old tradition, coinciding with the Carnival ritual, make Sa Sartiglia an event not to be missed, where emotion is guaranteed and customs are respected.

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