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giovedì 6 marzo 2014

Processione di Sant'Antonio

Processione Sant'Antonio di Santadi
The first Saturday after the 13th of June, the Sant’Antonio da Padova’s day, in Arbus it’s celebrated for over 4 centuries the “Sant’Antonio da Padova Feast”. It’s a common religious feast except for the long procession which starts from the San Sebastiano church in Arbus and ends, after 38 km of walking, in the village of Sant’Antonio di Santadi, in the extreme south of the Oristano’s Gulf. On Saturday, the day of departure of the procession a chariot, drawn by two oxen, arrives at the San Sebastiano church to pick up, after the Mass and the distribution of blessed bread, the statue of Sant’Antonio da Padova. 

Every year, many faithfuls follow the Sant’Antonio’s statue on foot or on the traditional festively decorated carts. Once, these carts, called “traccas”, were just ox carts, today they are common motor carts. Moreover, the solemn procession is followed by folk groups (traditionally dressed), horse riders, “launeddas” players and a musical band. 

After leaving the town of Arbus, the procession passes through the town of Guspini and then continues towards the village of Sant’Antonio di Santadi where it arrives around 11 pm. In the pine wood of “Gentilis” the convoy stops to have a rest and a packed lunch, but be sure it’s not a poor lunch because there’s meat and good wine for everybody. In the village of Sant’Antonio di Santadi, the celebrations continue on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, at the first light of dawn, after the Mass, the statue of Sant’Antonio is placed in the chariot to be brought back to Arbus. The feast ends in Arbus with the traditional fireworks wishing to celebrate the Saint again next year to come.