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The festival of Sant'Efisio, celebrated in early May every year is one of the most important dates in the Sardinian calendar. Visitors to the island have long loved the excuse to photograph the locals dressed in the stunning traditional costumes, hear Sardinian folk music and marvel at the bright colors, flower-strewn streets and festive atmosphere, but few really understand the origins of the festival.
Sant'Efisio is the patron saint of Sardinia. Born during the 3rd century AD in Asia Minor to a pagan mother and Christian father, he was enrolled in the Roman army to fight Christians under Dioclesian. During the long journey to Europe however, he underwent an epiphany and converted to Christianity himself. According to the legend, one night he was visited by a vision of a shining cross appearing amongst the clouds accompanied by a voice warning him not to join in the persecution of Christians.