A few days ago (Tuesday 28th February) I went to this festival with the two American girls that I have become friends with.
The festival was called ‘Sa Sartiglia‘ and it takes place in Oristano from the 26th of February to the 28th of February.
Oristano is located in the central-western part of Sardinia and it takes roughly around an hour to get there by train.
The Sartiglia takes place on the last Sunday and Tuesday of Carnival and it’s origins go back to the medieval ages and the crusades around Europe, this is apparent in the style of costumes that are worn by the people that are officially taking part in this event.
On the morning of the tournament there is a parade that goes from the president’s house to the hall where a ‘Dressing Ceremony’ takes place. The ceremony is officially opened by trumpeters and drummers. The person that is being dressed in this ceremony becomes genderless after the end of the dressing ceremony.
After the dressing ceremony has finished, the Componidori which is what the person has become, gives his blessings and greetings to the crowds that have gathered to watch this event before another parade takes place and then comes the star joust.
The aim of the star joust is to pierce the whole that is made in this (rather) small star that is suspended in mid air with their swords. Only the riders that are honoured with a sword by the head of the joust can compete in this competition. Anyone that manages to achieve this are rewarded with a smaller version of the star as a memorabilia. The joust is closed by the Componidori riding back out, laying down on his horse.
The next section of the festival I did not manage to see, however it is worth mentioning. The next part involves acrobatics on top of horses. It is said to be very spectacular.
For anyone that happens to be in Sardinia during these days in Feburary, I would definitely advise taking a trip to Oristano to have a truly unique experience and a great day out!