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Though Holy Week's mysticism is still very firmly rooted in the Villanova district, it does not prevent the paganistic hedonism of Carnival.

The masquerading before Lent has a local tradition, if not as old as that of Easter.

It is a lively tradition, meriting some of the more poetic pages in D.H. Lawrence's Sea and Sardinia written in 1921.

However, the masques found in Cagliari at the end of the ninteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth only reappear today in certain folkloristic events.

On those occasions, some of these figures come to life: sa panettera (the baker) noisily publicizes everyone's faults, su tiaulu (the devil) dances in front of the final bonfire, or su caddemis (the beggar) asks for alms. These characters have been supplanted by the costumes found in Carnival celebrations in most other Italian cities. On the days of Carnival, the neighborhood is paralyzed by the parading crowds. The incessant rhythm marking the beat of the procession, sa ratantina, is cadenced by drums, tambourines and other percussion instruments.

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