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Sardinia: Constantine Festival in Cedillo

Sardinia: Constantine Festival in Cedillo
Sardinia: Constantine Festival in Cedillo
More than thirty thousand tourists every year come in a very small town of Cedillo on Sardinia. Here from 5 to 7 July is held a beautiful and exciting celebration La S'ardia de Cedillo, which is often called by locals the feast of St. Constantine. And although the Roman Emperor Constantine was not formally canonized, for Sardinians he will always be the Holy and the Great.

In addition to the traditional folk festivals, dances and fairs, during the La S'ardia de Cedillo is held the event, which actually attracts tens thousands of tourists from all over the world. Among the main events is Corsa della S'ardia horse racing dedicated to the battle of Constantine with Macsentius in 362. The main idea of the performance is the following: three major riders (Constantine, lieutenant and standard bearer), protected by the "guard" should gallop escaping from the enemy. Actually, the word “ardia” means military escort. During the holiday Corsa della S'ardia is organized twice: late at night on July 6 in the light of torches and bonfires and at 8.00 in the morning on July 7. These events take place near the town in a natural amphitheater next to the Church of St. Constantine.

The best riders from all over Sardinia come to participate in Corsa della S'ardia as it is a very big honor to be chosen for this horse racing. The race starts when a person playing Constantine (Sa prima pandela) and his standard bearer receive blessing from the priest. Then they ride three laps of honor around the church and immediately break down into a gallop, followed by their guard. The race begins a few moments later. The event is so spectacular that the locals have a saying: “You can’t understand La S'ardia without seeing it, but having seen you’ll never forget it”.

Ilya Kalachev

Date: 23/06/2012

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