Christmas in Sardinia: festive traditions and where to spend it

Christmas in Sardinia holds a very special value. It is made of special traditions, some of which the island
shares with the rest of Italy, while others are much more exclusive to the area or common to few other
places.
In particular, there are four Sardinian traditions that are most typical of this period.

Do you know any of them?

1 – Christmas in Sardinia: ” Sa Notte ‘e Xena” – the night of the dinner

Christmas Eve is the most important night of the festivities and, as usual, the family gathers for dinner.
The particularity of the Sardinian tradition concerns two aspects of this special meal: the dishes that
are prepared and served at the table, and a ritual that starts the convivial event.

Let’s begin by telling you what’s on the table at Christmas Eve in Sardinia.

On the table, depending on the area of the island, you will find a bit of all the typical flavours:
culurgiones, malloreddus, lamb, Sardinian porceddu prepared according to tradition, are the protagonists
of the menu inspired by the products of the land, although in some areas fish and lobster dishes are
preferred.

For desserts, there would be a long list of preparations, but the ones that most represent the island are
undoubtedly: white nougat, especially in Alghero, sweets made with cooked must and dried fruit,
most notably the very rich saba bread and mostaccioli. The most famous are the mostaccioli from
Oristano that are left to rise for weeks
. The result is very light and fat-free sweets!

And now, let’s talk about the ritual that takes place before the dinner.

Tradition has it that Christmas Eve dinner is eaten in a house with a fireplace and that before sitting
down, a special log is burned, specially cut and preserved for the occasion.
“Su truncu de xena” will warm the room for the duration of the dinner.

2 – The “Sa Candelaria” tradition

Although indeed “Sa Candelaria” concerns the night of 31 December, this custom is part of the
Christmas season. It is mainly typical of Nuoro and the surrounding area and is nothing more than the
Christmas version of ‘trick-or-treating’ that is also done on Halloween in Sardinia.

If you missed it, read our article on Halloween traditions in Sardinia.

On the last night of the year, Sardinian children knock from door to door asking their hosts for “Sa
Candelaria”: a rich haul of biscuits, saba cakes, and even some coins to spend on other sweets or toys.

3- “Sa Miss ‘e Pudda”, the Christmas Mass

This is the tradition that most unites Sardinia with the rest of Italy: the Christmas Mass.

Celebrated strictly at midnight between 24 and 25 December after the festive tolling of the bells. The rite
is accompanied by joyful singing and, for the occasion, even the church is decorated in a special way
with a nativity scene, lights and festive symbols.

4- The Sibyl’s song in Alghero

The tradition of the Song of the Sibyl distinguishes the city of Alghero. It is a unique event that celebrates
the link between the city and Catalonia.

On the night of 24 December, this medieval song is sung in the ancient Catalan language. Images
from the Bible come to life in the spectators’ imagination. A very evocative aspect of local culture.

Where to spend Christmas in Sardinia

Sardinia is beautiful at any time of year and there is always something new to experience and discover.
A holiday on the island is therefore always a good idea!

For Christmas, but also during the rest of the year, the ideal is to stay in a quiet area that allows you to
maintain your privacy, but at the same time is close to the historic centres of Sassari, Alghero, with its
magnificent beaches, and that allows you to visit all the most beautiful areas of north-western Sardinia.

We have created Domus 81 Luxury Villa just for you.

Domus 81 villa sardinia
Surrounded by greenery, just a few minutes from the historic centres of Sassari and Alghero, it is surrounded by facilities for sporting activities and routes for walking, cycling or trekking. Consisting of two units with independent entrances, it can accommodate up to 12 people.

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