The municipality, expressing the feelings of the population, made a vow to their Saint. If Sant' Efisio, through his powerful intercession rid the city of the plague, then the people would take a statue of Sant' Efisio in procession from the church in Stampace to the church in Nora every year, in perpetuity.

Images of the festival of Sant' Efisio
Images of the festival of Sant' Efisio
And the plague did indeed finish. So every year since 1656 on the first of May the Sardinian people, wearing their traditional costumes, take the statue of their Saint in procession to thank him for ridding Cagliari of the plague.
This is the "Festival of Sant' Efisio" which is the biggest and most colourful religious procession in the world. It is the only religious procession that lasts for 4 days. It is also the only procession which is able to unite the whole population of an island that has been defined as almost a "continent" because of the deep cultural, social and economic differences among the Island's various regions.
The first of May is the main day of this festival. Before 1656 the first of May was the Sardinian 'Thanksgiving' when the population thanked God for the spring harvest.

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The Island of Sardinia
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