8 March 2024

Descent of the Candelieri in Sassari

The “Descent of the Candelieri” is a traditional and religious festival celebrated in Sassari, a city in Sardinia, Italy. This event takes place on August 14th of each year and is one of the city’s most important celebrations. The “Candelieri” are enormous wooden structures intricately carved and decorated, representing various local guilds and corporations.

The history of this festivity dates back to the 18th century when Sassari experienced an economic boom due to trade and the production of agricultural products. As a result, guilds and corporations were formed to regulate and protect the interests of different trades. Each guild decided to construct its own Candelieri as a symbol of power and wealth.

The festival begins with a religious procession that includes the Candelieri carried by groups of men known as “Candeliereiros.” Each group consists of members from a specific guild or corporation, and the Candelieri are paraded through the streets of Sassari to Piazza Italia. The procession is accompanied by music, traditional dances, and enthusiastic crowds.

Once in the square, the Candelieri are vertically raised in an impressive display of strength and coordination by the participants. The Candelieri are heavy and can reach heights of over 20 meters, making their elevation a remarkable feat. After the display, the Candelieri are carefully lowered to the ground.

The Descent of the Candelieri is a celebration that combines religious and cultural elements and provides an opportunity for the residents of Sassari to showcase their devotion, skills, and sense of community. The festivity attracts visitors from around the world who wish to witness this unique and colorful tradition in Sardinia.

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