History of Sant’Efisio
In 1652 Sardinia was afflicted by a plague. Half the population of Cagliari died. Everywhere there was death and desperation. The people turned to Efisio di Elia, a martyred saint, who had been beheaded in the year 303 in Nora for refusing to deny the Christian Faith. He was imprisoned in Cagliari (where today there is a church dedicated to him) and was then moved secretly to the coast of Cagliari in order to prevent the people from protesting against his sentence. Efisio was beheaded by a Roman soldier on the beach of Nora.
The municipality, made a vow. If Sant’ Efisio rid the city of the plague, the people would take a statue of Sant’ Efisio in procession from the church in Cagliari to the church in Nora every year, in perpetuity, and the plague finished. So, every year since 1656 on the first of May the Sardinian people, wearing their traditional costumes, take the statue of their Saint in procession to thank him for ridding Cagliari of the plague.
The Biggest Religious Procession In The World
The “Festival of Sant’ Efisio” is the biggest and most colourful religious procession in the world. It is the only religious procession that lasts for 4 days although the first of May is the main day when the statue leaves Cagliari. Before 1656 the first of May was the Sardinian ‘Thanksgiving’ when the population thanked God for the spring harvest.
Leaving Forte Village with a driver and guide on 1st May 1 for a full day excursion, 8 hours, you head towards Cagliari where you have tickets to the grandstands where you will enjoy the view of the passing procession of the Saint, which normally begins by 1pm. You stay in Cagliari for lunch and then around 15:00 leave Cagliari to return to Forte Village.
Sant’Efisio Weekend Package – Accommodation & Excursion
Weekend Package Price
From €425 per person per night, minimum 2 nights, sharing in double occupancy
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