Wasal iż-żmien mistenni minn kulħadd
Iż-żmien li jġib il-ferħ tal-Karnival
U dan iż-żmien tixtieq ma jgħaddi qatt
U f’dan iż-żmien kuntent kulħadd ikun
U dan hu ta’ bilfors u bir-raġun
Jgħdi x-xjuħ u jgħidu t-tfal
Viva l-jiem tal-Karnival!
Karnival in Malta is older than the Venetian carnival! The idea of the masked balls dates back to the Knights of Malta.
Every year The Maltese Center organizes a Karnival celebration complete with traditional food, creole and Prinjolata of course! It usually occurs the weekend before Ash Wednesday.
SUMMER TIME IS FESTA TIME
According to Maltese historian PP Castagna, the village festa goes back to the times of the Order of the Knights of St John. Grandmaster De Rohan loved feasts and merry-making. He encouraged the Maltese population to celebrate church activities even outside the church . When it came to music of the festa, string instruments were first introduced. Then the brass band came along, which has become institutional to the Village festa.
There are over 60 festas held on Malta and Gozo all with fireworks, processions and bands.
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is a public holiday in Malta and one of the oldest celebrations in the country, dating from even before the famed Knights of Saint John first arrived on Malta in the early 16th Century. In fact, the holiday has been celebrated by Roman Catholics since at least the 3rd Century A.D.
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is held annually on June 29th, though some festivities begin late on the evening of the 28th.
St. Paul is also the patron saint of Malta due to his being shipwrecked on its shores and evangelising the island while there. Peter never stepped foot on Malta, as far as we know, but being the patron saint of all fishermen, he is also highly regarded in Malta, where the fishing industry is extremely important.
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is observed throughout the islands of Malta and Gozo and is known in the local language as “L-Imnarja,” which derives from the Italian word “Luminara,” meaning “festival of light.” This designation is due to the common practice of lighting bonfires on this day in olden times.
Originally, the feast was a kind of harvest and folk festival, besides being a religious observance. Nowadays, celebratory events have drifted from these original roots, except in Nadur on the island of Gozo, where many of the old traditions continue.
Every year The Maltese Center organizes a L-Imnarja celebration outdoors in the private yard taking advantage of the summer weather.
The Feast of the Assumption, known as the feast of ‘Santa Maria’ is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and recognises that the Blessed Virgin Mary ascended into Heaven with her body and soul. This popular Maltese ‘festa’ is the peak of the summer religious village feasts and takes place every year on the 15th of August. All the locals look forward to this feast as it is intimately linked with Malta’s folklore and history. The feast is celebrated in 7 towns around the islands of Malta and Gozo and festivities usually occur between the 13th and 17th of August. You can experience these unique events in one or more of the following towns: Ghaxaq, Gudja, Mosta, Mqabba, Qrendi and Attard in Malta, and Victoria in Gozo. The village streets in these towns are brightly decorated with colourful flags, festive pelmets, balloons and banners. Churches are festooned with decorations and illuminated with thousands of light bulbs. On the day of the Statue of the Virgin Mary is taken round these village streets in a procession accompanied by brass bands, multi-coloured fireworks and the peeling of church bells and cheers from the crowds. It is also a Public Holiday in Malta.
Every year The Maltese Center organizes a Santa Maria BBQ.
The Santa Maria Convoy.The 15th of August is also a date associated with World War II.During World War II, the Maltese population was saved from starvation and provided with enough supplies to sustain the islands thanks to a food convoy that arrived during the week of the feast day. This convoy’s arrival is seen by many to have been a big turning point of the war in the Mediterranean as otherwise the Maltese would have had no alternative but to surrender. In August 1942, Operation Pedestal was mounted from the United Kingdom with the aim to relieve Malta. The convoy was intercepted by the Axis who deployed 20 submarines, 19 motor torpedo boats and over 850 aircraft. Hence they faced a gruelling five-day ordeal which saw nine out of fourteen merchant ships succumbing to the relentless round-the-clock attacks.Four of the ships that survived reached Malta on the 13th and 14th of August. However there was no sign of the sturdy tanker Ohio, which was loaded with vital oil, fuel and kerosene supplies without which Malta could not hope to survive. The tanker had been singled out from the start and faced ferocious attacks and was lying crippled some kilometres off Malta. The ship had been torpedoed and holed, a series of fires were started and controlled, her boilers blew up and her engines failed; twice abandoned and twice rebounded- the tanker would not sink.
On August 15th 1942 on the feast of Santa Marija, the Ohio – towed by two destroyers, Ledbury and Penn, and one minesweeper, Rye- entered the Grand Harbour. She discharged her cargo and no sooner were the 10,000 tons of precious fuel oil and kerosene extracted from her mangled hull, the Ohio sank and rested on the bottom