Carnival in Cagliari is a collective celebration, inclusive and strongly participated. As in the past, it still is a creative and ironic workshop, animated by local associations. In addition to the representatives of the historic districts (Sa Ratantira Casteddaia di Stampace, Comitato di Quartiere Villaggio Pescatori di Giorgino), celebrations are organized also by new realities, such as Domus de Luna, Exmè and Cagliari Vespa Club.
Celebrations will start earlier this year: on Saturday, 15 February, an amazing parade of Sardinian traditional Carnival masks will invade the streets of the town centre.
Carnival in Cagliari is a succession of parades accompanied by the incessant rhythm of sa ratantira (played by a noisy band of percussion instruments). "The clowns" is the main theme chosen by Sa Ratantira Casteddaia for the Fat Tuesday's parade, while on Sunday, 23 February it will be possible to admire the typical masks of the Cagliari Carnival. On Saturday, 22 February, celebrations will involve the municipality of Pirri: the Exmè awaits citizens and tourists with the typical ratantira, music, dj set and a tasty zeppolata (Sardinian traditional fried pastries).
Celebrations reach their climax on Shrove Sunday, when the bogus King George ("Cancioffali") is burnt at the stake at the end of the last parade organized by Sa Ratantira Casteddaia, symbolizing the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lenten season.
If you want to experience the noisy and sacrilegious Carnival atmosphere, do not miss the Piñata Sunday (the first Sunday of Lent), dedicated to the traditional Vespa race called "Vespiglia", a funny and colourful tribute to Sartiglia (the famous horse race of Oristano Carnival). The choice of Vespiglia's location is a tribute to the history of the town: in ancient times, during the Carnival period, Stampace district was the scene of spectacular races of horses in pairs. From the afternoon, the groups of the traditional ratantira will invade the Fishermen's Village of Giorgino, where the Comitato di Quartiere Villaggio Pescatori will conclude the celebrations between games, entertainment, music and the unmissable zeppolata.
"For generations, San Michele race was the symbol of Cagliari Carnival together with the ratantiras, masked people that walked down the streets of the town to the rhythmic sound of drums, plates and, in the absence of anything better, of steel milk cans, endlessly beaten...." (Francesco Alziator)