Li Candelieri, a medieval style festival, takes place in Sassari on August 14. In Sardinian it is called Sa festa manna, the great festival.
In the parade, called faradda, the different guilds
carry huge wooden candles, that once used to be made of wax weighing about 40 kilos. Today they use wooden candles, carried on the shoulders by 9 people who move rhythmically, dancing up and down, along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele in the city center. The parade ends late at night in the Church
of Santa Maria in Betlem.
People watching and walking next to the parade
shout to encourage the candle carriers.Some of the members of
the guilds wear Spanish style costumes and swords.The members of each
brotherhood are dressed in tight with a waistcoat of the same color of
the flag that flies on top of the candle. All the wooden candles bear the the
image of the saint protector of the different confraternities.
The origins of the parade date from 1582 when the pestilence, a terrible plague or black death, spread and raged over the area of Sassari killing more than 20,000 people In a very short time. The brotherhoods or confraternity (later called Corporations or guilds) of the carpenters, blacksmiths, and shoemakers decided to pray and made a vow to stop the plague. They made a vow to the Madonna of Mid August. They also helped the poor, paying for their funerals. The guilds had rules and proper statutes.
The guilds in the parade are the Stone workers, Wanderers, Peasants, Carpenters, Shoemakers,Masons or bricklayers, Farmers, and tailors.
Another spectacular festival in Sassari is La Cavalcata Sarda, held in May.