In Sardinia, from jenuary to december there are more than 200 events, but only 3 offer the opportunity to see united, un the same place, all the traditional customs of the isle: Sant’Efisio at Cagliari, the Redentore at Nuoro and the Cavalcata Sarda at Sassari.
The Cavalcata, that is different from the other two celebration becouse it’s not a religious celebration, it join varoius aspects of celebration: there is the solemn element of the parry and of the presentation of the customs then there is one component more sportive with skill prouves by the riders (they are called “pariglie”), to not forgot the element typically of folk-lore: songs and dances tha last until late hour.
The morning in dedicated at the parade of traditional customs. Thousands of representing, by feet, by horse, partecipate with cart adorned with flowers. During the parade there is the tasting and the offer of typical produits.
The demonstrations, long 2 kilometres, surpass slowly between two wings of crowd, and leaved from the suburbi, it arrive in the centre of the city: Piazza d’Italia.
In the afternoon, the riders give proof of their particolar exuberance.
A only performance who boast about of ancient traditions and that today counts hundreds ok kenn on riding, a phenomenon considered an art.
A rapport, that between man and horse in Sardinia, so close and direct that upon a time that the men valued their own only by the skill on the horse.
The evening, at least, always in the enormous Piazza d’Italia, called by the Sassari people “the town sitting-room”, the groups who have parade in the morning, came back and dance assisted from the songs of the groups of folklore.
Enrico Costa relates, in his famous “History of Sassari”, that the display was launched in 1711, when the rule of Spanisah domination was in the end, when the town council decided to “ride” in honor of Filippo V.
At the parade took part “toda la noblesa y los matricolados”.
The whole of Sassari honoured the king of Spain, showing proudly the one’s heritarage of popular traditions, beauties and youth in costume.
The 20 april 1899, went, maybe, the most famous “Cavalcata Sarda” (The Sardinian Ride”), that i sto say in honour of the king of Italy Umberto I and his wife Margherita of Savoia, they came in Sassari for the unveilling of the monument for Vittorio Emanuele II that Giuseppe Sartorio had raised in the centre of Italy Place.
“The Italian Illustration”, one of most important periodic of that time, definited it “the beauty celebration”: beauty of the queen, beauty of the riders, beauty of sardinian women and beauty of their traditional showy costume.
It was the first Cavalcata in great style wich partecipated 600 horses, mainly coming from north-centre Sardinia.
In 1929 the town celebrated the passing of Vittorio Emanuele III and the Queen Elena, instead in 1939 there was the last Cavalcata for the Royal, in honour of the hereditary Prince Umberto of Savoia and his wife Maria Josè.
In 1951, the Cavalcata was proposed again like a celebration t ogive the welcome at the guests of a congress of Rotaty. This time was organized from the EPT, while the groups invitated came from the province of Sassari and Nuoro.
After some editions offer traditionally to princes, royals and famous guests, as from the ’50 years the Cavalcata was brushed up for turistic needs. From that time till now it become a fixed appointment ok springtime with the folk-lore.
As from 1951 there was an editino every years, exept in 1982, when where organized two editions, one of those in special honour of Sandro Pertini, at that time President of the Republic.
Claude Antoine Valery, Emanuel Domenech, Gaston Vuiller, the great David Herbert Lawrence, only to say somebody, great writers and lovers of Sardinia, they have a characteristic common to all of those: all, in different times, had decanted the Sardinian garments, today the attraction element of Cavalcata.
It was a representative simbol of the different social classes, it was dressed in different situations: there was rhe daily dress, the sanday dress, the widowhood dres, the custom is identity and it has showed proudly during the parade.
Pride and vanity without neglect that magic that like a magic golden surround the person who dress the custom.
The Cavalcata is above all a cheerful invasion of the city of Sassari. Like a shop-window of tradition, a magic palette of colours, a true itinerari across tha astonishment of the isle.
The celebration calls, already all over the isle, thousands of partecipants with the traditional customs; the city opens her roards at a cheerful, fashinating, living groups parade caming from all little and big centre of isle.
Between the feminin customs so Sassari province stando for their elegance that of Osilo, Sennori, Ittiri, the severe custom of Tempio Pausania, the fiere custom of Nulvi, without forgetting the customs of Nuoro province:Desulo, Oliena, Aritzo, while the more characteristic between the men custom is with no doubt the Cabras custom, that it not has shoes.
Every small town has a own tipic charming for his bright style, sumptous for the wealth of the ornaments or else misterious for the sever semplicità.
The custom more particolar and characterizing is simbol of identification, and consequently, it’s an element of diversità and differentiation between the small town, even if they are not far.
A confirmation of the importance of the glamour intended like proprety storic and cultural, the chronicle sayed that in the 1932 the Ollolai common gave to the Prince of Savoia Umberto and to Maria Josè, a couple of traditional customs of the town.
In accordance with the tradition the Cavalcata is a great show of customs, players, fancy-dresses, groups on the horses, all together in a day to celebrate to be a fierce people. Opportunity of every small towns and towns to give lustre to their traditions, beauties, and usage.
Every group is only and original for memory and fascination: the customs of women and men, those of daily use and Sunday use, the rich customs and the poor customs, those of shepherd and those of fisherman, the married customs and the widowhood customs.
A great opportunity to not lose, different every year and always ready to astonish you.
In the last years had participated also groups of Corsica, very closer not only for the closeness geographical, and the Africans friends, that every year beath life into the head of the demonstration with their sounds, their colours and their fun.