National Geographic : 1923 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE A CITY BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM COMING FROM CHURCH The duration of the ceremony is seldom more than five minutes. their hands advance or recede. No priests are in the procession. At the rear walks the mayor of the town, surrounded by the council members and protected from the pushing of the eager crowd by the mu nicipal guards in full-dress uniform. Most of the corporation members wear quaint old Spanish costumes and the whole procession is enlivened by the sound of small drums, beaten frantically and continuously while the pageant lasts, and by the sharp notes of flutes, which play a tune so gay that it makes the stout porters unconsciously assume a gait which has all the rhythm of a ballet. When the procession finally reaches Saint Mary's Church the candlesticks are placed around the statue of the Madonna and the feast is over. Another religious festival, the most re nowned and characteristic of all, is the festa of S. Eficio, the patron saint of the Province of Cagliari. The ceremony takes the form of a pro cession to and from Pula, a village situ ated on the south side of the Gulf of Cag liari, where, according to legend, the saint is believed to have suffered martyrdom. The image of the saint, an ugly, garishly colored wooden statue shiny with varnish, is carried in a coach all paint and gilt, drawn by a team of oxen whose long horns are covered with nosegays and whose necks are decked with banners of rich brocade. The procession is escorted by a caval cade in the costumes of the ancient militia, and the coach is preceded by musicians playing launeddas. The ceremony takes place on the first of May and the saint comes back to Cagliari after sunset on the fourth.