Celebrate the Maltese way!

birgu feastCelebrating village feasts is an important tradition on the Maltese islands and a unique experience for its visitors.  Every village has a feast and this is a great way to weld with the locals and see how they celebrate their saints.  Many organizers plan months ahead to make their village feast better than their competing village and make the best outdoor festivities, best decors and firework displays.  The passion which goes into these festivities is impressive even by Maltese standards.  Locals take pride in their feast and there is a sense of community.  On their feast celebration week, the churches are well decorated externally with their illuminated facade and internally with decorated altars, flowers, damask curtains and chandeliers.  Feasts are celebrated for one whole week with activities held every day.  In fact one can say that every summer night in the Maltese islands is filled up with a particular feast. 


The feasts are characterized by band marches and on the last day, the evening of the proper feast day, the titular processional statue is paraded around the various streets of the village or town until it is taken back to the church it pertains.  The procession usually starts at about 7.30pm till the statue is taken back to the church at around 10.30pm.  More celebrations and marches follow till the early hours of the following day.  The streets are all decorated with flags, drapery and wooden columns, on top of which are statutes of other saints.  Kiosk and stalls are set up in the streets selling various snacks and ice creams.  A traditional desert selling at the stalls is the nougat, a hard chewy sweet mixed with dried fruit and nuts. 


Check out the Feast schedule for 2013.