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The procession of candlesticks will take place in Sardinia.

The procession of candlesticks will take place in Sardinia.
The procession of candlesticks will take place in Sardinia.

In the second-largest city in Sardinia, Sassari, August 14 will take place an old festival La discesa dei Candelieri (procession of candle-holders), or as it was known in ancient the proposal candles. This event is timed to the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and it takes place in Sassari unchanged for over 500 years.

The main action of the holiday is ceremonial procession with candlesticks(kandeleri), which represent high wooden columns, bright with flowers and garlands. As the columns are very heavy, they are just 8 people, while still managing to dance to the music accompanying the procession of marching bands. According to the tradition, each of seven kandeleri is symbolizing one of the guilds of craftsmen of the city.

The procession goes through the city and ends in the evening in the church of St. Maria di Betlem, after the procession, festivities are going on all night. It is believed that La discesa dei Candelieri originated in the fusion of two ancient festivals. First, the earlier was the fact that before the feast of the Dormition of St. Mary's Church held a donation of beeswax for candles. At the same pieces of wax were cast in the shape of the saints and angels, and decorated with flowers. This tradition came in Sassari from Pisa and other cities of Tuscany. The tradition of the second festival starts in the XVI century when the citizens prayed to Madonna for deliverance from the plague that devastated the city, and their prayer was heard. Today the procession Kandeleri is one of the favorite holidays of the inhabitants of Sassari, and also attracts a great number of tourists from all over Europe.

Besides its ancient Catholic tradition Sassari is known its Sardinian ziggurat - the ruins of temples of the Copper Age (3-2 millennium BC. Oe.)Construction reminding of Mesopotamian ziggurats, and has no analogues anywhere in Europe.

Ilya Kozlovskiy

Date: 17/08/2011

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