63rd Cavalcata Sarda | Sardinia, Italy

One hundred and thirteen years have passed since the first Cavalcata Sarda took place to honor King Umberto 1 and Queen Margherita, who made a visit to Sardegna in 1899. This colourful folk festival is held on the second-last Sunday of May, every year.

For close to an hour traditional costumes from various towns all over Sardinia paraded their wares for the world to see. It was a beautiful display of colour and music. It was also the first year in over ten years that the procession part of the Cavalcata Sarda was cancelled due to weather.

We were extremely disappointed that the horses were not paraded with the procession but when the rain falls in Sardinia it’s heavy and relentless. Click here to see last years Cavalcata Sarda, with horses!

Traditionally, there was a large horse race throughout town, where thousands of manned horses would speed through the cobblestone streets of Sassari. In the last few years the comune deemed this activity dangerous and moved the horse race to the Ippodromo (Domed stadium) in Sassari.

Sassari welcomes hundreds of horse-men and horse-women from every part of Sardinia. The procession begins with the folk groups, dressed in multi-coloured traditional costumes embellished with jewels and amulets. With them, they carry the traditional labour of the area(s): kindling for the fire, old-fashioned baked breads, vines from the vineyard, walking sticks, local cheese and wines.

Traditional Sardinian music and singing is played out before the judging panel. Each town gives their best performance with the glory going to only one.

Despite the rain and millions of umbrellas it was still a fantastic colourful display of Sardinian rites, traditions and mysterious folklore.

Have you been to Cavalcata Sarda?

About Jennifer Avventura

Canadian Freelance writer living in Sardinia, Italy. A serial expat who has lived in Australia, England and Cayman Islands. She eats Nutella with a spoon and hides under the bed during lightning storms. When she's not out running 6k you will find her sitting at the computer - writing her novel and searching for worldwide waitress work.
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15 Responses to 63rd Cavalcata Sarda | Sardinia, Italy

  1. Looks like a good, if damp, day, even though the processional part of the event had to be cancelled.

  2. The Cavalcata Sarda is such a great event. I have seen the horses riding trough the streets and it was so impressive, I will never forget it. I made a post about it yesterday, but the horsephotos are in my photogallery, http://bentehaarstad.photoshelter.com/gallery/Sardinia/G0000M8ybBwW1nU4/

  3. niasunset says:

    Seems that it was a wonderful festival dear Jennifer. I loved your photographs, especially in the second one, these folkloric costumes fascinated me. Thank you, with my love, nia

  4. Madhu says:

    Thank you for this glimpse into Sardinian tradition! Love the costumes!

  5. Jo Bryant says:

    great images Jennifer. What are the women wearing in the first one…they look intriguing

    • Ciao Jo. All the costumes are traditional of the island. I’m not too sure where they are from in the first photo, but it’s their skirt that they have held up and around their heads! 🙂 Cool, eh?

      • Jo Bryant says:

        Oh wow…I didn’t realise that. That is cool !!! And they are all similar as well. I love the pattern and I just love THAT photo !

  6. The Hook says:

    I love that last pic, Jennifer!

  7. Pingback: Top 10 Fantastic Festivals & Events in Sardinia, Italy | My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda

  8. Paul says:

    Thank you Jennifer for the memory trip back in time..nostalgia is not good to your health but sure feels good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. malvaltoffee says:

    Great blog Jen, as always ! xxx

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