Malta Festa – The Village Feast
With a festa being held almost every weekend, its hard not to bump into one of these during your holiday in Malta. No matter which time of year you visit Malta, you are sure to find at least one festa being organized in one of the villages. Its hard to believe that such a small island can have so many events in a single year. Its strategic location left it bare to several attacks, where the country ended up being ruled by Greek, Roman, French and British rulers. This is probably the reason for its unique culture and a whopping 60 festas held every year from May to September.
Festas are milieu of light and colors amid a large crowd, watching or participating in the event. It is mainly a religious occasion celebrated within the Church. However, richly decorated streets welcome you as you enter the villages. You can also see banners and statues mounted on wooden columns, as walk along the streets. Locals add to the festive atmosphere by decorating the rooftops and balconies of their homes with festoons along with some red or blue added, depending on the feast being celebrated. People also hoist flags as a sign of devotion to the saint for whom the feast is being held.
A typical feast is held for a period of three days or maybe more, where evenings present a joyous atmosphere. Food stands offering fast foods as well as traditional goodies line up the street in the hope to entice the visitors. Delicacies include the Maltese nougat and other Maltese products.
Church walls are typically covered with red damask along with polished silverware and crystal chandeliers adorning the insides. The Churches are fully lit up from the outside as well, making a delightful silhouette against the dark night sky. A few days before the feast the statue of the saint is taken out and decorated, with prayers conducted for a period of nine days. Evening sky is filled with numerous colorful lights as fireworks are let off from every corner of the village. Sparkling sky and lit up streets are truly a sight to behold, giving you an unforgettable holiday in Malta. A barrage of petards indicates the end of the official festa, however celebrations continue well into the night accompanied with music and dance.
Your holiday in Malta is actually incomplete without attending one of these festas. The island country can be reached by air where you can find several flights to Malta from all the major airports in the world.