Sa 'Ratzia - The Breaking Of The Plate At The Feet Of The Bride And Groom 0 Comments

Sa 'Ratzia - The Breaking Of The Plate At The Feet Of The Bride And Groom

When the bride and groom arrive at the elegant reception that the organisational and wedding planning skills of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites have prepared, tailored around them and for them, they are often returning from an ancient ritual that greeted them as they walked out from the church. We are talking about Sa 'Ratzia, the breaking of the plate at the feet of the Bride and Groom.

In Sardinia, marriage is punctuated by ancient ritual passages that are still passed down. One of the most widespread practices still loved  by today’s Sardinian brides is the Sa 'Ratzia.

A plate is carefully prepared, filled with everything tradition dictates: rice, wheat, salt, candies, raisins, natural and sugared almonds, coins, confetti or shredded paper, petals and leaves, which symbolise wealth, serenity and well-being.

At the end of the ceremony, the bride’s mother or a close relative, offers the couple water to drink, a symbol of life and tosses the contents of the plate in the direction of the couple and their guests and then vigorously throws the plate on the ground so that it breaks into a thousand pieces. This symbolises the break with the past life, chases away the possibility of a separation and is a good omen for a lasting marriage and a happy family.

All stages of the wedding are followed according to tradition, from the preparation of the typical bread, "is cocois” e “is murtuareddas'' prepared with care following the ritual, to the wedding dresses, brocade and silk for the bride, black typical coarse wool and very fine linen for the groom, the choice of traccas, carts decorated with tapestries, vine shoots, ears of corn and flowers, pulled by oxen also festively adirned and made to pass over a carpet of petals, best if red, and twigs. The bride and groom get on the traccas taking them from their homes to the church. Other decorated carts will follow them with the guests, amid the notes of the players of launeddas or Is sonus de canna (wind instrument of the clarinet family, as the Sardinian Music), songs and dances of local folklore that will cheer up the wedding party until late night.

In the Coja antiga cerexina, the tradition of the ancient Campidanese Selargino wedding, the celebrations begin days before: on Thursday or Friday the future groom, with a group of friends, all in traditional clothes, goes to the bride's house on a traca to sing the serenade. On Saturday, however, it is up to the bride's trousseau to be carried by the traca from the parental home to the new marital home, accompanied by family members in costume and by musicians. On Sunday there is the dressing of the spouses, with rich and ancient clothes and jewels and then the procession of the spouses with relatives, witnesses, friends, knights and launeddas and tumbarinos players advances towards the church.


“During the return, a shower of wheat, flowers and sugared almonds is set free, shouting "Good luck". Wheat is a wish for abundance…” (Grazia Deledda - the ritual of sa 'ratzia).


Written by Daniela Toti

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