In the center of the western coast of Sardinia is located the town of Oristano, which, due to the large number of historic monuments, enjoys great popularity among the tourists. However, once a year, on the last day of carnival - the Fat Tuesday (this year February 21) - Oristano literally becomes a place of pilgrimage, where are gathering to not only tourists, but also locals from all over Sardinia.
On this day in the city is held La Sartiglia - an old colorful festival, which reflects all the originality and folklore of Sardinia. La Sartiglia is a horse competition, which attracts riders from all over the island each in the national costume of his family with the coat of arms and emblems. The city is turned into a festive venue, houses are decorated with garlands, paved and asphalt streets are sprinkled with sand and straw, which reinforces the atmosphere of old times, when Sartiglia custom appeared.
The holiday itself consists of two parts. The first is a circle ride (Corsa all'anello), during which the athletes at full gallop must strung a hanging star on a sword or dagger. The value of stars depends on the height. There are iron, silver and gold stars. The last are the most inaccessible, but also the most honorable for the rider. The second part of La Sartiglia is Pariglia. During this competition three horses are rushing gallop in the same rhythm while the horsemen are performing difficult tricks standing on the horsebacks. The hardest thing in Pariglia is not only keeping balance, but also making the horses gallop at the same speed and close to each other without riders’ control. In this difficult and dangerous competition can participate only the most experienced riders, but the event is so fantastic that every year during the La Sartiglia Oristano streets are full of spectators and fans.