The traditional stages of the Procession
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year the fulfilment of the solemn vow to Saint Efisio will take place behind closed doors, in a completely different way compared to the previous editions of the procession.
However, in this section we are going to describe how the event would have been held under normal circumstances, in the hope that in the next few years, when the global health emergency will be ended, you will choose to visit Cagliari and take part in this magnificent event that involves our city.
On the 1st of May, the procession is opened by the Tracas which are carts towed by decorated oxen. To the feast, thirty or forty carts usually participate coming from different towns of the province of Cagliari. Then, there are folkloric groups wearing typical Sardinian clothes who sing or say some prayers of Sardinian tradition called goccius. Behind these groups, there are the horses. The Cavalieri del Campidano (Campidano's Horsemen) start the parade with horses decorated with cockades and rosettes. After them, it is the turn of the Miliziani (Militiamen) with arquebus and sabres. The procession with the horses continues with the Guardianìa, wearing a tailcoat, a top hat and a blue strip in the hips. In the front row, the Third Guardian keeps the standard of the Archconfraternity.
With a tailcoat, a top hat and a strip representing the Italian flag the Alter Nos, representing the mayor of Cagliari, continues the procession along with the members of the Archconfraternity of the Gonfalone. The first of them keeps a crucifix of the XVIII century. Two of them called "the Collaterals" stay on the sides of the cart to open its doors to allow people to put flowers, offerings, ex voto and supplications in, when the procession stops. The arrival of the cart with the simulacrum is announced by the sound of launeddas, a typical Sardinian wind instrument. A big yoke of oxen decorated with flowers and driven by Su Carradori tows the cart. In Via Roma, in front of the dignitaries' stand the cart continues its procession on a carpet of flowers (sa ramadura), welcomed by the sirens of the boats docked in the port. This is a touching moment, also because the crowd goes towards the Saint to beg for a grace. Then the cart continues its road to Nora with the believers who made the vow to walk.
In the afternoon of 1st of May, the Procession stops in Giorgino in a small private church dedicated to Saint Efisio. All the jewels are removed and the clothes are replaced by simpler ones. The statue is put in a travelling coach. Then the procession continues to Maddalena Spiaggia, where many devotees come from the near town Capoterra (called before the city of Saint Efisio).
The third stop is done at "Su Loi", where a Mass is celebrated. At sunset, the procession arrives at the chapel of the beautiful Villa d'Orri of the marquis of Villa Hermosa where Eucharistic blessing is given. At the end, the procession starts again and arrives at Sarroch. The cart is led to the church of Santa Vittoria where a solemn Mass is celebrated and here people will stay to sleep.
On the 2nd of May, the procession arrives at Villa San Pietro, town introduced in the feast in 1943, and then at Pula. At about midday, the coach arrives at Pula and the town and religious authorities welcome it. On the bridge called "Su Rondò", the Alter Nos entrusts to the mayor of Pula the task to go on with the celebrations.
Then, in the church of San Giovanni Battista, a solemn Mass is celebrated. After a stop in front of the cemetery and in front of the little church of San Raimondo, the Saint is given to the Archconfratenity and escorted to Nora where it arrives at around 9 p.m.
The simulacrum is then put in a niche. During the whole day, on the 3rd of May the Saint is commemorated with masses and celebrations. At 6 p.m., there is the procession along the coast and the Saint is taken out of the coach and carried on shoulders to visit again the place of his martyrdom. The 4th of May is the day of the return and the same itinerary is done to go back to Cagliari.