Category Archives: Malta Feasts

The Festa Band in the Maltese Culture…

 Feasts in Malta

Summer is in full swing and so are the village feasts that are celebrated around the Maltese islands. During the year, especially during the summer months, towns and villages around Malta celebrate their locality’s feast in honour of their patron saint.

Lija Feast - Clive VellaBut there’s no feast without celebration and music. Band clubs in Malta are part of the social and cultural history of the Maltese islands. In fact most of the towns and villages in Malta have their own band club. Its aim is to spread Maltese culture and to teach music to the local community. Many musicians who have gone on to make a name for themselves, locally or abroad, owe their success, in part, to the encouragement and teaching of the local band club.

These philharmonic societies or band clubs, originated way back in the second part of the 19th century. With the financial support of local businessmen, individuals who possessed the talent to learn how to play an instrument bought a musical instrument and started learning, with the primary aim of performing in the village feast.

By time, the number of band clubs flourished and a Band Clubs Association was formed. This year the Association is celebrating its 60th anniversary, endorsing a membership of 84 band clubs across the island. According to the latest survey by the local National Statistics Office, the total number of bandsmen/women (bandisti) amount to over 4,000.

Every town and village in Malta and Gozo has its own band club, some even have two, as there are certain villages which celebrate two feasts – one dedicated to the patron saint and the other celebrating the so called ‘secondary’ feast of another saint. During feast time competition is at its max, where each band club strives to be the best, decorating the façade of the club’s premises in the most colourful and vivid way, launching new musical numbers, and creating the most merrymaking atmosphere possible. Marching in rows of six, wearing uniforms and proudly showing off the badge of their club, a band is normally composed of between 60 and 70 bands-men/women playing a variety of instruments.

During your summer holidays in Malta enjoy a typical Maltese feast and be part of the local festivities. And whilst staying at this superior 5 star hotel in Malta be sure to ask Our Concierge for assistance in planning your excursions and for recommendations on places to visit.

Information obtained from www.guidetomalta.net

Photos courtesy of www.viewingmalta.com, Mario Galea and Clive Vella.

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Mnarja: A traditional Folk Festival in Malta

Mnarja - Folf Festival Malta

Malta is renowned for its traditional feasts and celebrations. One of the yearly festival which is well known with Maltese and foreigners alike is the Mnarja Festival.

The Imnarja festival is held on the 28th and 29th of June yearly. During this festival you can experience various archaic Maltese customs and traditions. The name for this very popular Maltese festival is believed to have originated from the corruption of the Italian word “luminaria” which means illuminations. This refers to the bonfires that used to be lit up in Rabat, Malta during the festival traditions. (Imnarja can also be spelt Mnarja). The 29th of June is also the feast day of St Peter and St Paul, and the Mnarja festival is heavily linked to this feast. The origins of this festival date back to before the occupation of the Knights of Malta!

Imnarja Festival at a glance
The festival starts on the 28th of June in Buskett Gardens. The atmosphere in Buskett is that of a huge and never ending party, with folk music and traditional singing (ghana), dancing and plenty of food and drink. The main dish served during the event is rabbit stew. In fact, rabbit is consumed in abundance during the Mnarja festival. To wash down the food, plenty of excellent local wine is available. The festivities go on until the early hours of the following morning! In the past, there was a custom that when a couple got married, the groom promised his bride that he would take her to the Mnarja evening celebrations after they got married.

The following day, i.e. the 29th of June, is a public holiday in Malta and Gozo. On the 29th, the festival continues at Buskett Gardens. This time though, it is more of an agricultural show where you can see lots of farmers proudly exhibiting their fresh produce. In the afternoon, the attention is switched to the Telgha tas-Saqqajja in Rabat (Saqqajja Hill) where bareback horse and donkey races are held. Thousands gather to watch these races each year. The winner of the race is awarded a colourful brocade banner.

The Imnarja festival is a huge sociable and family affair where families and friends meet and celebrate day and night in Buskett Gardens, which is the largest natural woodland in Malta.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior offers you great ideas on what to do in Malta during your upcoming holidays. Visit this superior 5 star hotel in Malta‘s website and stay updated with events taking place around Malta.

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Malta Events – Chinese New Year 2014

Grand Hotel Excelsior to welcome the Year of the Horse!

chinese ny 2014

On the occasion of the Chinese New Year the Grand Hotel Excelsior is organising a special Dinner on Thursday 30th January 2014.

The Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year, is the most important celebration of the year in China where Chinese people and their families gather and wish their family members and friends health and luck during the New Year.

This year marks the year of the Horse. According to the Chinese calendar, when it comes to fortune, 2014 would be a better year for those people who were born under The Year of the Horse.

Members of the public are welcome to join in the celebratory dinner priced at 35 Euro for adults. Children aged between six and 11 pay half the price and children under 6 years dine for free.

Contact the Food and Beverage Team at the Excelsior Hotel Malta on 21250520 or on food.beverage@excelsior.com.mt for more information and to secure your table for this special event.

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