San Costantino's Feast (6/7 July)
San Costantino's Feast (6/7 July) The most important feast in Pozzomaggiore has been celebrated ever since 1923, the year of the consecration of the church. On this occasion the Ardia race takes place, the most important event in the village, and which attracts millions of tourists and Christians from the island every year.
It is a horse race where riding skills and the fiery horses demonstrate piety and respect for traditions. Briefly, the ''su caddu e punta'', escorted and followed by the entire group of horsemen, races round the church three times at an intense gallop counter clockwise. He stops in front of the sanctuary as a sign of devotion to the Saint and then races round three more time clockwise, accompanied by gunshots. No man must overtake him. There are over one hundred horsemen taking part in the Ardia. They demonstrate proof of their great equestrian abilityand daring but within the rules. Their devotion and boldness , along with the colourful jackets, the dust and the sweat, in what becomes a simulated battle in front of the church, touches and excites the large crowd.
During the break, between the first and the second part of the Ardia, there is a solemn procession during which the statues of San Costantino, of Sant'Elena (his mother) and of San Silvestrì (the pope that baptized him) are walked along the streets. A numerous crowd follows the procession and often children wear San Costantino's clothes in order to break a vow.