According to tradition, in order to avoid the fights that occurred at Carnival between the "Arborensi" and Aragonese soldiers who were hated by the local people for having defeated them and taken their land, a Canon pasted a law giving the "Farmers’ Gremio" the right to continue the "Sartiglia". Under this law man-to-man fighting was forbidden. This also helped to spread the cost of the large lunch given to the horsemen who participated in the tournament.
  Images of the Sartiglia of Oristano

The tradition is confirmed by the fact that the Farmers’ Gremio still continues to hold the "Su Cungiau de Sa Sartiglia" (in the Sardinian language) that allows the running of the tournament.
On Sunday, Sartiglia takes place under San Giovanni Battista’s protection. On Tuesday, Sartiglia is organized by the Carpenters’ Gremio and takes place under San Giuseppe’s protection.
Images of the Sartiglia of Oristano   The traditions are stratified in time and surround the unique main character, the King of Sartiglia (Su Compoidori in Sardinian language) and his androgynous mask. He is the master of the festival. Man and woman at the same time, neither female nor male. Every year Su Cumpoidori is ‘born’ when he is dressed in public by very beautiful girls wearing ancient traditional costumes. Sartiglia starts this way with the dressing of the "Su Cumpoidori", (the head of the races) and this is one of the most obscure rites among Sardinian traditions.
They are the two Gremi who chose among many candidates the person who is going to be "Su Cumpoidori". There are ancient rituals which reach their peak in the dressing of "Su Cumpoidori" on race day. It is a rite full of sacredness because "Su Cumpoidori" must be strong, pure and brave. He has to become a devotee of fecundation, the purity of which is ensured - on the day before Sartiglia - with confession and Communion.

The "Su Cumpoidori" is dressed on a table which is really an altar. It is decorated with wheat and flowers in S’Oberaju Majori’s (the head of the Gremio) house. From that moment, "Su Cumpoidori" is not allowed to touch the ground.

Any direct contact with the "Big Mother" must be avoided so that "Su Cumpoidori" can preserve the purity that is essential to compete and win. "Sas Massaieddas" are young virgin girls in traditional costumes who dress "Su Cumpoidori". They are lead by the so-called "Sa Massaia Manna". "Su Cumpoidori" is not allowed to touch the clothes. It is a real ceremony, a long rite, attended by a narrow circle of people in silence.
  Images of the Sartiglia of Oristano

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