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Sa Ramadura: Sardinian Roads Paved In Flowers 0 Comments

Sa Ramadura: Sardinian Roads Paved In Flowers

Sa Ramadura, also called "infiorata" (decked with flowers) - which is currently still mesmerizing - is one of the most popular religious and folkloristic events in Sardinia. It is very old but in the past, it was a different thing. "Ramadura" is a term deriving from branches, or from twigs, from cutting and using branches. The chosen branches were the ones of aromatic plants, of which Sardinia is really rich: Laurel, Wild Mint, Rosemary, Juniper, Myrtle, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Helichrysum, Mauve and more others.

The Ceremony of "Ramadura" took place not so much for the desire of paving the passage of the processions with green branches and coloured carpets of flower petals, but to mitigate the predominant smell of the excrement of the oxen and of the horses used to pull the chariot and traccas (rural wagons amazingly decorated for religious festivals), which defecated and urinated during the procession. Today for Sa Ramadura is meant a road paved with a carpet of rose petals for the feast of the Patron Saint, obtaining a magnificent colourful and fragrant result.

The most famous and impressive "Ramadura" is the one of May 1st of Saint Efisio’s festival, with millions of yellow, pink and red roses petals prepared for the event, sprinkled on the streets, turning the asphalt into a very precious fragrant and lively carpet, where the petals symbolize happiness and prosperity. The rose petals were and are among the symbols of the Sardinian tradition. During the weddings, they were and are sprinkled over the spouses’ heads to wish them an unceasing union in the time to come.

The tradition of the feast of Saint Efisio started in the mid-600s, when a terrible plague epidemic spread across Sardinia, wiping out the population. The intercession of Saint Efisio was invoked and he protected Cagliari from the plague, as well as wars and other calamities.

The whole Sardinia joins Cagliari for this important expression of the popular cult with dozens of representatives coming from all over the island countries, with men, women and children wearing traditional clothes and precious jewels of Sardinian goldsmith's craft, parading and singing songs and prayers.

There is also a rose liqueur that bears the name of "Sa Ramadura", a liqueur made from grappa flavoured with roses with high alcohol content, fragrant and delicious on the palate, used at the end of a meal.

[…] (the traditional Sardinian woman) as a girl she thinks about getting married, as a spouse she thinks about her children and the welfare of her family. Her entertainments are going to church, to the processions and returning visits… (Dolores Turchi)

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Written by Daniela Toti

 

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