Sardinian Tradition: “The Candelieri “

One of the typical Sardinian traditions takes place in the north-east of the island, in a great town called Sassari.  This event is named “Discesa dei Candelieri “or in the typical Sardinian language “Faradda dei Candelieri “, that is “Slop of the great candles”.

This annual event takes place on the 14th of August commemorating the old tradition born in the XIII century.

The old tradition of this anniversary originates from the horrible pestilence that has damaged the entire island.

Sassari was relieved thanks to the vow directed to the Virgin Mary, in fact each August the vow is repeated during the “Candeliere Procession” in the streets of the old town center.

On this day all the city is characterized by the typical toast with the typical greeting for a  long life, saying in Sardinian language “A zent’anni! “, that can be translated as “towards one hundred years old!”.

Obviously, the main character of this event is the “Candeliere”,  an enormous candle sustained by people.

The height of these candles is 3 meters, the weight is almost 400 kilograms and their beauty and meaning are conveyed by their ornament.

There are 10 candles that represent some professions of the antiquity, such as:

  • Candle of the ” Fabbri “, which represents the metalworkers ;
  • Candle of the “ Piccapietre”, which represents the role of hitting stones ;
  • Candle of the “ Viandanti “, which represents wayfarers;
  • Candle of the “ Contadini”, which represents peasantry;
  • Candle of the “ Falegnami”, which represents woodworkers;
  • Candle of the “ Ortolani “, which represents greengrocers;
  • Candle of the “ Calzolai”, which represents shoemakers;
  • Candle of the “ Muratori”, which represents construction workers;
  • Candle of the “ Sarti”, which represents tailors;
  • Candle of the “Massai”, which represents an other typology of peasantry.

In conclusion, on the 4th of December, 2013 this event was declared “Intangible World Heritage Site“ by UNESCO and, moreover, “La Faradda” can boast about another great reconciliation obtained from the Tourism Ministry.

In fact, this anniversary has became a “Heritage of Italy for Tradition “, a national virtue which permits to value the image of Italy, promoting the tourism too.

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