Wonder  }  Tradition

In Milis for Holy Week

Two fraternities, one theft, and Easter processions

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Where is


09070 Milis OR, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


Milis, a Sardinian village with lively traditions

Milis is a town of about 1,500 inhabitants that boasts ancient traditions that attract many tourists throughout the year. Keeping them alive and bringing them to the streets is the responsibility of the Associazione Tradizioni Popolari Milis Pizzinnu (Milis Pizzinnu Popular Traditions Association), whose members perform at the main festivals and festivals held in the township and also in other places in Sardinia. One of the most important festivals in Milis is Holy Week, which here begins earlier than usual with a special event: a theft.

The theft of Su Puddu

The rites of Holy Week in Milis begin on the Sunday before Palm Sunday, when a mysterious character all dressed in white, with a hood firmly pulled down over his face, sneaks into the church of Santa Vittoria. It is 1 p.m., the villagers are at home having lunch. The man is a member of the Brotherhood of the Rosary, his destination, is the headquarters of the rival brotherhood, the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit. His mission is to steal a key sign in the town's processions, Su Puddu.

It is a cross embellished with symbols of the passion, and surmounted by su puddu, or a rooster. It is a beautiful object, the pride of the confraternity of the Holy Spirit. The thief sent by the confraternity of the Rosary then steals the cross and takes it to the church of St. Sebastian. In the 18th century this was outright theft, a snub between rivals. Over time, however, it has become a ritual dear to the village and picturesque for visitors who come to witness it.

chiesa di San Sebastiano a MilisChurch of San Sebastiano in Milis

Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday

With Palm Sunday the rites of Holy Week begin in which Su Puddu cannot be missed, which, however, is now located in the Rosary Chapel. The most important symbol in the festivals of Milis, therefore, starts here and is held firmly in the hands of the Confraternity of the Rosary.

This leads up to Maundy Thursday, characterized by a procession with the cross to the church of Santa Vittoria. Here the crucified Christ is taken, to be carried to the parish by the two confraternities, and in the afternoon the washing of the feet takes place.

The rites of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

On Friday, S'Inghiriedda, Mary's search for Jesus, takes place. This is then followed by the ceremonies of S'Iscravamentu, literally the unraveling, until Sunday morning for the rite of S'Incontru, or the re-enactment of Mary's encounter with the risen Christ. It is a moment of emotion and celebration, the perfect conclusion to a week full of events, emotions and opportunities to be together.

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