Photo essay – Feast of Sant’Isidoro in Ghilarza, celebrating farmers’ work

The head of the parade, with horse riders carrying the banners for the Saint

I'm not alone looking at the rest of the horses parading along the town's main street

The tractors start arriving after the horses

More tractors embellished with flowers on the way and riflemen on both sidewalks

The undisputed stars of the show

Ghilarza traditional costumes arriving with the parade

Every age allowed to parade in costume!

The religious branch of the parade carrying the Christ and the saint and praying

The Cross following the costumes

This year fell on April 22nd, but the feast of Sant’Isidoro in Ghilarza, Sardinia, is not always on the same date. Usually set on the second Sunday after Easter, the feast in honor of farmers’ patron is celebrated in different days throughout Sardinia. In Sedilo, for example, only 13 km away from Ghilarza, Sant’Isidoro is always in May and, apparently, with a wonderful ceremony.

The parade that in Ghilarza takes place on the second Sunday after Easter is the last performance of the religious celebrations in honor of the saint. The horses come first, some obedient some more “independent”, followed by tractors and bulls embellished by flowers and ears of wheat to symbolize farmers’ work. After the bulls is the parade of traditionals costumes, different for each village, and finally the priest, his helpers and the townspeople praying and closing the procession.

Lined up on the sides are men blank shooting with their rifles all along the way, friendly noise that made me temporarily deaf while I was taking pictures from my privileged press gallery, my balcony.

I think it’s appropriate to say that townspeople in Ghilarza (and in all of Sardinia) have a knack for organizing local festivals, every month there is at least one, some lasting even ten days on a row. All festivals have a religious background but, as it happens, some come from pagan rituals that Christianity incorporated because unable to erase them.


  1. Che belle foto!

  2. Ce serait vraiment dommage que toutes ces traditions se perdent! Heureusement qu’il y a les personnes comme toi qui en font de magnifiques témoignages!

  3. I love watching local parades like this. What a perfect vantage point you had on your balcony.

  4. Italians seem to be experts at organising festivals, religious, food, music… always fun to watch – or even spontaneously join in.

  5. Great perspective in these photos. Makes me want to join in the festivities.

  6. Love the horses in the street, and the costumes look lovely. :)

  7. manco da ghilarza dal 1958, un pò di nostalgia e perchè no, tanti bei ricordi.

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