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The Sartiglia of Oristano - Sunday 19 and Tuesday 21 February 2023

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The Sartiglia is one of the oldest equestrian jousts in the Mediterranean and still represents an event that is very much felt by the Oristanese and Sardinians in general, perfectly embodying the choreographic spectacularity of Carnival in the broadest sense. The Sartiglia is celebrated on the last Sunday and Tuesday of Carnival (this year on 19 and 21 February) and consists of a race that the horsemen - and in particular one of them, known as 'Su Componidori' - run through the streets of the old town centre with the aim of hitting the target - the famous golden star - hanging in mid-air by means of a green ribbon with a sword. Conquering the star is synonymous with good luck, while failure alludes to bad luck. Of uncertain and debated origin, the term Sartiglia derives from the Castilian 'sortija', meaning 'ring', incorporating within it the term 'sors' meaning luck. Within the Sartiglia, therefore, some of the most interesting and unexplored aspects of pagan rituality, contaminated by ceremonials of Christian origin, probably survive. The race is in fact linked to the cyclical nature of the seasons and its raison d'être is the propitiation of the harvest.

'Su Componidori' is the knight par excellence, the chief runner, characterised by his mask with clear androgynous features. The term alludes to the public ritual dressing that 'Su Componidori' awaits in order to be 'born'. It is up to him to perform the delicate task of piercing the star with his sword, and his figure is given a ritual celebratory importance that constitutes a magical and superstitious moment actively experienced by the entire community, from the moment of his dressing. From the moment he dons the mask, 'Su Componidori' is unreachable and distant, just like a god. It is not only the mask that gives him asexual appearance: the black top hat on his head, the veil, the shirt full of puffs and lace, the waistcoat and the leather belt are elements that denote an appearance somewhere between a man and a woman.

The race to the star concludes with the famous Pariglie race, in which the horsemen perform alone or in groups, one after the other, in spectacular and dangerous acrobatics on the backs of their steeds. It is here that qualities such as courage, dexterity and the harmony between man and animal are most emphasised. (Taken from an article by Roberta Carboni by Me and Sardinia)



  • Sunday 19 February - Sartiglia of the Gremio dei Contadini 
  • Tuesday 21 February - Sartiglia del Gremio dei Falegnami


10 a.m. - BANDO

Early in the morning, the group of drummers and trumpeters set off from Piazza Eleonora d'Arborea, in front of the Town Hall, escorting a herald on horseback through the streets of the old town centre, reading the Announcement of the Sartiglia, inviting the people to attend the equestrian joust.


Post Office opening with special postal cancellation. An extraordinary philatelic counter, run by the Italian Post Office, will cancel all correspondence with the special figurative cancellations prepared to celebrate the Sartiglia. In addition, a philatelic Folder will be set up containing the franked and cancelled postcards and the Sartiglia highlights.

12 noon - DRESSING

  • Sunday: dressing of su Componidori at the headquarters of the Gremio dei Contadini in via Aristana.
  • Tuesday: dressing of su Componidori in the area set up by the Gremio dei Falegnami in via G.M. Angioy.


On the morning of the race, su Componidori (the leader of the race), after visiting the stables to greet his friends and riders, goes to the house of the president of the gremio from where, at around 11am, the procession departs towards the venue where the dressing-up will take place.

The group of drummers and trumpeters, opens the procession made up of is massaieddas and sa massaia manna, who carry the clothes for the dressing of su Componidori in baskets, followed by the members of the gremio, who carry the swords and the stocchi for the race and su Componidori.

Once the dressing is over, from the table where he was dressed, su Componidori mounts his horse. At that moment the president of the gremio hands him sa Pippia de Maiu with which he greets, with signs of blessing, the president of the gremio and all those present. Su Componidori then goes towards the exit and, lying on the horse, exits the headquarters of the gremio.

The Vestizione is accessed by invitations, the distribution of which is the responsibility of the gremios organising it. It will be broadcast live on the maxi screen in piazza Eleonora d'Arborea.

1.15 pm - COURTESY

At the end of the ceremony of the Vestizione, the procession of 120 horsemen led by su Componidori and preceded by the trumpeters and drummers, massaieddas and the gremio, heads towards the route in via Duomo where the Corsa alla Stella will take place.

Around 1.30 p.m. - RUN TO THE STAR

With the triple crossing of swords between su Componidori and his second, which takes place under the green ribbon supporting the star, to the rhythm of the drums, the race begins. The first descent belongs to su Componidori, followed by the pariglia de su componidori of the Tuesday Sartiglia and all the horsemen to whom the honour of the sword will be bestowed. This is followed by the descents with the stocco and sa Remada. From that moment, the procession of horsemen is reconstituted, which retraces Via Duomo and passes through Corso Umberto and Piazza Roma, heading towards Via Mazzini, the theatre where the Pariglie will take place.

4.30 p.m. approx. - RACE OF THE PARRIAGES

From 'Su Brocci', the small tunnel leading into Via Mazzini, the reckless acrobatics of the riders begin. On this route, according to the order of the parade, all the participating pariahs will be able to perform their evolutions. The Pariglie race is opened and closed by the pariglia de su Componidori.

6.30 p.m. - Undressing

  • Sunday: Undressing of su Componidori at the headquarters of the Gremio dei Contadini.
  • Sunday: Undressing of su Componidori at the headquarters of the Gremio dei Contadini.


At the end of the parades' race, the procession reassembles and returns to the route of Via Mazzini. By dusk, the parade of horses and riders marks the end of the race.

At the end of the parade, the procession formed by the trumpeters, drummers, gremio and horsemen, heads towards the gremio headquarters where the dressing of su Componidori took place to proceed with the Undressing. Once the cylinder and veil are removed, the extraordinary roll of the drums marks the moment when the mask is removed. From that moment, the gremio, the horsemen and all those present come to greet and congratulate him. Admission to the Undressing is free.

Sunday 19 February 2023

  • OBERAIUS MAIORIS Mauro Solinas (Oberaiu de Bandera) – Corrado Sanna (Oberaiu de Cascia)
  • PRIORISSAS DEL GREMIO Laura Tatti – Filomena Rocca
  • COMPONIDORI Danilo Casula
  • SEGUNDU CUMPONI Salvatore Montixi
  • TERZU CUMPONI Bernardino Ecca
  • Massaia Manna, Massaieddas, drummers and trumpeters chosen by the Gremio

Tuesday 21 February 2023

  • COMPONIDORI Giampaolo Mugheddu
  • SEGUNDU CUMPONI Gianluca Mugheddu
  • TERZU CUMPONI Francesco Loi
  • Massaia Manna, Massaieddas, drummers and trumpeters chosen by the Gremio

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