WHERE: Sassari, Italy
WHEN: August 14 2019
Sardinia. A place of great spirit, passion and strong traditions. A place, many souls.
Far from the excesses, from the show business, from the Costa Smeralda ... Sardinia offers its most authentic and genuine part. Especially inland. Even in full August.
Every year, in fact, in the wonderful Sassari, one of the most awaited events of the entire Region is renewed: the Faradda di li Candareri, that is, the Descent of the Candlesticks. An event that, for centuries, has fascinated hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. The festival, of Pisan origin, is inspired by a vow made to Our Lady of the Assumption who, in 1652, would have saved the city from the plague.
It is a tradition long past 5 centuries, inserted, in the 2013, in the Oral and Intangible Heritage of UNESCO humanity. An extraordinary recognition in the context of the Celebrations of the great processional structures on the shoulders. The Santa Rosa machine of Viterbo, the Feast of the Gigli di Nola, and the Varia di Palmi, represent the four Italian Catholic religious festivals, awarded with recognition.
If, to Nola, to be protagonists are the Gigli, to Sassari, instead, to be carried on the shoulders are of the big wooden columns: the Candelieri. To the so-called Gremi, the task of carrying these huge candles.
The program of the Faradda follows a rather rigid process, of which the "Vestizione" and, above all, the Descent dance, represent the highlights of the whole party.
Photo, 2012 Gianni Careddu
HOW TO GET
Being located in the western part of the Sardinian island, the best way to reach Sassari is by plane. The city is about 30 kilometers from Alghero-Fertilia airport. The latter is well connected to the main European capitals; especially in high season. Book your flight from here, at the best price.
From the airport, you can rent a car and reach Sassari in just over 20 minutes, through the SS291 State Road. Alternatively, you can use the ARST buses, a regional public transport company. The Terminal is located right in front of the terminal and the buses are quite frequent. The bus takes about 35 minutes. Tickets can be purchased directly on board the vehicle.
The ceremony takes place, every year, the 14 August, according to a pre-established program. In the morning, around the 09: 00, the VESTATION takes place, a ceremony that concerns each Gremio. A banner of over 3 meters, will be affixed outside the headquarters of the Candelieri, in order to make it easily identifiable. Everyone can attend the ceremony. There is even a train that, from 09: 00 up to 13: 00, goes around the city, bringing tourists and curious to the various locations.
At 17: 00, the transport of the Candlesticks begins up to Piazza Castello. From here, at the 18: 00, the parade will start, that is, the Descent of the Chandeliers. This is the most awaited moment.
Among dances, songs and drum rolls, the procession of 12 Candlesticks reaches the streets of the city. Even the mayor, after a toast, joins the parade, which ends in front of the churchyard of Santa Maria di Betlem. In reality, this year, the peasants will forfeit the parade due to the collapse of their candlestick structure; will honor the parade with the single flag.
In the Church, the vote is dissolved. The Faradda 2019 ends, giving appointment to the following year.
Li Candereri's Faradda is particularly followed. There are even more than 100000 tourists every year. Many, reach Sassari specifically. Others, are vacationers from the nearby seaside resorts.
In order not to be unprepared, we advise you to reach Sassari the day before the party. In this way, you can organize yourself better for the following day. The parade parades along the main arteries of the old city. The descent starts at 18: 00. To find yourself on the front line, you must arrive a couple of hours in advance. Try, also, to find a structure in the historic center, overlooking the street. You can watch the Faradda from the balcony of your room!
WHERE TO SLEEP
It is advisable to book a little early, so as not to risk paying too high a figure. We are still in full mid-August!
Just 300 meters from Palazzo Ducale, the B & B Il Fior d'Arancio It offers air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen TV, a coffee maker and a kettle. Guests have access to shared bathroom facilities and city views. Prices, in this period, are around € 80, for two people, with breakfast. In our opinion, one of the best for value for money. Book your room at a special price from here.