If you are looking for a trip that is close, surreal, fun, popular, social, cultural, alcoholic, traditional and not very touristy, I suggest you go through the Carnivals in Sardinia and enjoy the Mamoiada mammoths.
Our one-week trip to Sardinia coincided with the carnival parties and we were able to enjoy an amazing staging in Oristano and its famous Sartiglia festival as well as a night of madness and fun with the locals in the tourist Mamoiada.
The little ones bringing wine to Santa Croce square in Mamoiada
From Sardinia, not only the beaches of Alguero or the streets of Cagliari surprised me but also the rugged interior and the festivities that take place during these carnival days in towns such as Oristano, Mamoiada, Orosei among other villages.
In Mamoiada we spent one of those surreal nights hard to forget. He was traveling with a couple of Sicilians and was the only foreigner in town during the holidays. The food and drink ran at all hours and the locals welcomed us warmly.
Galicians will feel at home. You will see that the costumes of the mammoths and the issohadores are very similar to the Galician carnival motifs that can be seen in Verin or in Laza.
The wooden masks worn by mammoths offer an imperturbable expression and have become one of the symbols of the island. They treasure a tradition of more than 1000 years old. The protagonists of the party are completely covered with sheepskin and their clothes hang several cowbells that ring along their walks through the center of Mamoiada.
Mammoths parade through the streets and occasionally stop to perform several rhythmic jumps while cowbells enable their particular soundtrack. Beside it, the issohadores, without the weight of the cowbells, offer more skilled rhythmic movements and steps.
Sausages, cheese and local wine - the cannonau- They seem to never end and the good atmosphere will make you live a fun and unusual holiday. For a few days, forget about visiting monuments and cathedrals and take a trip inside the traditions and soul of the people.
When is the Mamoiada Carnival 2017 celebrated?
Although carnival dates vary depending on when Holy Week falls, the Mamoiada carnival has certain dates closed in its calendar and always starts on January 16 when the blessed fire is lit marking the official start of the carnival. Then each neighborhood lights its own fire and everyone gathers in front of the main fire where the main protagonists become wine, music and sweets.
However, the big holidays coincide with the classic carnival date. Both February 26 (Sunday) and February 28 (Tuesday) the mammoths and the issohadores parade through the Plaza de Santa Croce de Mamoiada and the party turns on its highest point.
Between both celebrations, February 27 becomes a special day for the little ones with a carnival celebration where mammoths and other mysterious carnival characters parade for the enjoyment of children with dances in the Plaza de Santa Croce.
Also in the Mamoiada mask museum You can take a trip through the history and customs of this ancestral carnival celebration. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 and 1 in the afternoon and from 3 to 6 in the afternoon. The entrance ticket leaves for 4 euros and they offer guided tours.
You will find more information about it in the Proloco de Mamoiada Tourist Association.5.001