Throughout the island and throughout the year there are numerous festivals which provide a good opportunity to see traditional costumes and local handicrafts, hear local music with singing and dancing, and taste local produce at typical Sardinian food stalls.
Sardinian festivals are usually religious in origin, but others celebrate annual events such as the harvest. There are also many gastronomic events as local products come into season, such as the artichoke festival in Uri in March and the Cherries festival in Nuoro in June. There are also many equestrian events such as Sa Sartiglia Carnival in Oristano in February and L’Ardia Horse Race in Sedilo in July.
1st January 'Cap d'Any a l'Alguer' New Year’s Eve in Alghero – a variety of live music or performers, on stage, in most of the piazzas in the Old Town, culminating in a grand firework display over the harbour. It is a hectic night, with firecrackers in the streets, restaurants full to capacity and most bars remaining open until at least 6am the following morning!
End January - mid February ‘Bogamarì’ Sea Urchin Festival in Alghero – every weekend on Lungomare Barcelona, one can savour sea urchins (already cut open for you), bread and a glass of local wine for a fixed price of €5 and some restaurants have special menus for the occasion.
February Shrove Tuesday ‘Carnival’ celebrating throughout the island – a 3 day event ending on Shrove Tuesday with music, dancing and fancy dress and typical local food and sweets for the children.
End of February ‘Sa Sartiglia’ in Oristano – the most spectacular and choreographed Carnival in Sardinia. An equestrian game with ancient origins in which brave horsemen compete with one another in a tournament to select the figure of Su Componidori, the horseman that wearing a mask of a mysterious God will pierce the star.
March/April ‘Pasqua’ Easter Passion and Holy Week in Cagliari and in villages throughout the island – raising of the cross parades. Holy Week ‘Riti della Settimana Santa’ in Alghero – Traditional Catalan religious events.
Easter Week, Alghero - Based on Spanish traditions dating back hundreds of years, the celebrations last the week with different processions and festivities on each day coming to a conclusion on the Saturday with fireworks.
2nd Sunday after Easter ‘Nougat (Torrone) Festival’ in Tonara.
23rd April ‘San Giorgio Festival’ St George's Day at Bonnanaro, Bitti and Onifai – celebrated by religious processions and prayers in Sard, horseback processions.
28th April ‘Sa Die de Sa Sardigna‘ (Sardinia Day) in Cagliari and other towns – festival of Sardinian people in commemoration of the “Sardinian Vespers”, the popular revolt of 1794.
1st May ‘Sant’Efisio’ in Cagliari – the effigy of the martyred Sant’Efisio is carried from Cagliari to Pula and is claimed to be the biggest, most colourful religious procession in the world. Some 5,000 people take part, all dressed in traditional costume.
10th-15th May ‘San Simplicio’ in Olbia – fireworks, distribution of sweets and wine, games, water competitions.
Second to last Sunday in May ’Cavalcata Sarda’ in Sassari – procession of 3,000 horse riders dressed in traditional costumes. Also horse riding events.
2nd-3rd June ‘The Artichoke Festival’ in Uri (just 20km from Alghero) – presentation and tasting of many artichoke based recipes accompanied by cultural and sports events. The festival draws thousands of people, increasing every year.
First Sunday in June ‘Horse Fair’ near Santu Lussurgiu – the island's biggest.
Second to last Sunday in June ‘Cherries Festival’ in the small village of Belvi’ in the province of Nuoro – promoting cherries from the Gennargentu area distributing cherries and caschetta sweets typical of this region made of transparent thin pastry filled with a fruity paste.
24th June ‘San Giovanni’ (St John the Baptist) celebrated in many villages – with processions, fireworks, horse races, songs and poetry competitions.
24th June ‘Sagra della Pecora’ Sheep Festival in Bauladu and Milis – feast of boiled mutton in the village square.
6th – 7th July ‘S’Ardia Horse Race’ in Sedilo between Oristano and Nuoro – in honour of San Constantino, the exciting route around the sanctuary, accompanied by gun shots and the stirring up of great clouds of dust, attracts thousands of spectators.
16th - 19th August ‘Festa della Madonna degli Angeli’ in Castelsardo – a striking procession with dancing, singing and performances by Sardinian singer-song writers.
6th August ‘The Archers Tournament’ in Iglesias in the South of Sardinia – 24 archers taking part in medieval attire. The tournament is followed a week later by the Medieval Parade, which takes place on 13th August.
14th August ‘Fireworks and Fried Fish’ in Alghero – fireworks display takes place in the port along the Busquet walkway. After the fireworks, fried fish for everyone.
15th August ‘Ferragosto’ mid August bank holiday – with fireworks all over Italy to celebrate the assumption. Processions throughout the island.
End of August ‘Sagra del Redentore’ (Redeemer) in Nuoro – parade with the people making their way to the top of Monte Ortobene.
21st September ‘Festa Sant Miquel’ in Alghero – the patron saint of the city is celebrated with fireworks and parades.
Last Sunday in October ‘Sagra della Castagne’ Chesnut Fair in Aritzo.
First week of November ‘Mountain Products Agricultural Fair’ in Desulo – handicraft and painting exhibitions.
Please note event details can change.
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