Wandering Sardinia

Sardinia has some of the most interesting festivals, many involving horses. Sa Sartiglia in Oristano is one of them, and it's spectacular.

Sa Sartiglia Video - Capturing Stars in Sardinia

Updated Nov 12, 2023

If I were to make a bold statement, it might be that Sardinia has some of the most striking and spiritually meaningful festivals in the world.

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Sa Sartiglia: Capturing the Star

Sa Sartiglia is famous for the activity you see above. At full gallop, an elaborately costumed rider tries to lance a star with a small hole through its center. You might think this competition is all there is, a colorful reenactment of some medieval weirdness. By the way, the rider doesn’t practice this act; it’s all cold turkey at the event.

But there’s more. Besides the carnival atmosphere that comes to the town of Oristano, there is the dressing of the head of the guild putting on the competition called Su Componidori. It takes “virgins” an hour to dress him and sew him into his costume. Then he takes the mask that makes him into a sort of demigod.

While I attended Sa Sartiglia, I took some video “footage” which I strung together to give you a glimpse of the proceedings. I hope it comes close to explaining some things. Of course, to an outsider it’s just an interesting competition, but to many residents, it’s a day full of meaning; how the competition plays out determines what one might expect of the rest of the year.

Sartiglia of Oristano is held on the last Sunday and Tuesday of Carnival. For more information and tickets, consult the official site: Sartiglia

Find out other things to do in Sardinia

More Festivals in Sardinia

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A Time for Masks: The Mamoiada Mask Museum

Sedilo and l'Ardia

Birras 2012: Festival of Beer in Sardinia

Rally of Nuraghi and Vermentino 2012

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