Easter in Cagliari is an event full of charm that mixes faith and folklore.
Here are the traditions not to miss during Easter in Cagliari
Easter in Cagliari is an incredible time to discover the ancient and modern customs of the city and of Sardinia.
After all, this is perhaps the most deeply felt religious holiday on the island. A demonstration of this is its local: Sa Pasca Manna. It means the Great Easter, that is the most important, in contrast with Sa Paschiscedda, the Little Easter, that is Christmas.
There is no doubt that Easter in Sardinia is the result of a long history. Archaic customs dating back to the Nuragic era, medieval traditions, influences related to the Spanish domination are still visible both in community rites and in small family habits.
So, let’s see what are the main traditions of Easter in Cagliari.
Easter in Cagliari: the religious rites of Holy Week
Religious processions are the main events of Holy Week in Cagliari. They are organized by the ancient brotherhoods linked to the different historical districts of the city.
The most important one is the Procession of the Mysteries, Is Misterius in Sardinian, held on the Friday before Palm Sunday. During the procession, the members of the Arciconfraternita del Santissimo Crocefisso wear the traditional white tunic and headdress and carry seven simulacra to the seven churches of the historic center. Their clothing, their walk through the streets and the polyphonic chant they sing, create an evocative representation of the Via Crucis.
Holy Wednesday is the day of the Vestition, during which the sisters of Santissimo Crocifisso dress the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows in mourning. Then, Holy Thursday is the day of the symbolic crucifixion of Christ, followed by the procession of women for the blessing of Su Nènniri. On Thursday is also the procession of Sant’Efisio, protector of the city.
After that, on Good Friday is the procession of Christ followed by Our Lady of Sorrows. This procession follows a precise ritual that is still the same from ancient times, which includes traditional songs accompanied by the sound of drums. Holy Saturday is the time of Su Scarvamanetu, the deposition of the dead Christ from the Cross.
Finally, Easter Sunday is the day of S’Incontru. During the event, the processions carrying the statues of Christ and Our Lady come together. The participants make the statues bow three times and then, all together, they enter the church for Mass.
Su Nènniri: the celebration of death and rebirth
In the previous paragraph we mentioned Su Nènniri, one of the oldest but still widespread Easter traditions in Sardinia.
At the beginning of Lent, Sardinian women take a small vase, fill it with earth and plant some grains of wheat. Then, they cover the jar with cotton wool and place it somewhere in the dark, watering it regularly until shoots appear. Their light-color is due to the lack of light.
As we have already said, on Holy Thursday women bring Su Nènniri to the church for the blessing. Then, once dried they burn the shoots In the meantime, the vase decorates the tables of the Easter lunch or is given as a gift to friends and relatives.
However, in ancient times the shoots were preserved and used for Is Affumentus, the curative fumigations.
The most interesting aspect of this tradition is its origin, which dates back to the time of the cult of Adonis, the Greek god who represents the cycle of the seasons. But this cult goes back to an even more ancient god, the Mesopotamian Tammuz.
Therefore, Su Nènniri is a traditions that comes from a very distant time and place.
Sa Pipia de Carèsima, the Lent doll
Another ancient Easter tradition in Cagliari and Sardinia is Sa Pipia de Carèsima.
After Carnival, Lent is a period of fasting and renunciations, which are not always easy for children.
In the past, children used to count the days to Easter using Sa Pipia de Carèsima. This was a doll made of cloth, paper or bread, but also a calendar. The children themselves prepared it on Ash Wednesday, giving it seven legs. Every Sunday of Lent they detached one of the legs and then, on Easter day, the doll was burned to end the austerity.
How to celebrate Easter in Cagliari
You can spend Easter in Cagliari in the wonderful Palazzo Doglio, the urban resort in the city center.
For the occasion, Palazzo Doglio offers a special package that includes:
- VIP treatment upon arrival
- Welcome drink
- International buffet breakfast
- 1 entrance to the Wellness Program per person (adult)
- Dedicated discount of 10% on our Doglio Club spa treatments
- Complimentary private and covered parking place, upon availability
- Complimentary High Speed Wi-Fi
- Early Check in / Late Check out upon availability
In addition, guests have the opportunity to have Easter Sunday and Easter Monday lunch in our restaurant with a 15% discount.
For information and reservations, visit the page dedicated to Easter at Palazzo Doglio.