The figure of Saint Antonio Abate is very important in Sardinia, since the day of his celebration, on February 16th, marks the beginning of the traditional carnival.
A very special moment which opens the traditional parade of masks, music, games and fun. All elements we can find in every carnival in the country, but in the region what is more important is definitely the night between the 16th and the 17th of February.
It is one of the most famous event on the island, and tourists all around Italy go there to enjoy the suggestive show and fires hold all night long.
On that day, the typical Sardinian masks show up for the first time in the year, ready to start the celebration. They will all sing and dance while drinking the best wine and eating the typical sweets made for the occasion.
Then they bless the wood and turn on fires which light up the night, while the sparks on the sky seems to mingle with the stars.
In some villages there is a traditional ritual to wish one to the other good luck: while the fire is burning out and the wood begins to cool, people rub the black embers in their hands and then start to touch faces. If you are lucky enough, someone will fondle your face and your 2014 will be brilliant and positive.
Even tourists who don’t believe in it, find the gesture very interesting, since it is typical and based on ancient tradition which was transmitted orally. Due to this reason, nowadays we are still able to celebrate something like this, something unusual for us, but interesting, old and fascinating.
In fact, the fire is really associated to good luck, since it is considered as a votive offer. Moreover, even if it is just another legend, who would like to have bad luck? No one, so just in case, remember to keep the embers…