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Although the origin of the word ‘figolla’ is not clear, it is believed that this was derived from the Italian word ‘figura’ which means a form, shape or image. Just before Easter, figolli are produced by local bakers and are sold in bakeries and confectioneries. However, it still very much of a local tradition to bake these at home during Holy Week and give them to family and friends to be eaten on Easter Sunday. These were created as a post-Lenten treat mainly for the little ones. Traditionally, these delicious, soft and biscuit-like cakes were available in the shapes of women, men, or baskets (possibly a reference to ancient symbols of fertility).
Nowadays, popular shapes include bunnies, ducks, cars and butterflies. Sometimes ‘figolli’, are shaped to suit Christian symbols such as lambs, crosses and fish. The icing decoration covering the top of the cake is very bright and colourful, and the largest decoration piece is often a small chocolate egg still wrapped in a foil paper.
Experience an Easter Malta Spa Break, an Easter Dine & Stay Weekend Break or our traditional Easter Sunday Buffet Lunch. And if you would like to enjoy that little treat at home, our award winning team of pastry chefs is busy preparing figolli and Easter eggs for you to take home or to give to your loved ones. These delectable goodies will be available for purchase from our Harbour View Lounge Bar, which is open 24 hours a day.
Following the Festive season, another big event is St. Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated worldwide. What used to be an ancient festival has been transformed into one of the most celebrated days in the year.
Its popularity has grown due to the idea of celebrating love and lovers. On this day people show their love not only to their partners, but also to everyone they care about and consider special such as parents, teachers, friends and siblings. The most popular method of expressing one’s love on Valentine’s Day is exchanging gifts, including fresh flowers, chocolates, cards and even jewellery. Many couples also enjoy a lovely candle-lit dinner on this special day. In fact, many restaurants would be fully booked, and the night is one of the busiest of the year.
In popular culture there are several symbols which are associated with Valentine’s Day. These include red hearts and roses, birds, and Cupid.
Have you ever wondered where these originated from?
A red heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow is a very traditional symbol of Valentine’s Day. The heart represents love and life, and the gift of a heart implies handing over one’s being to a loved one.
The pierced heart also suggests that one is willing to take a risk of being rejected and feeling hurt. Therefore, the arrow also symbolises the vulnerability of love. Some also believe that the heart and arrow represent the unity of a couple. Today, hearts are often given as gifts in the form of balloons and stuffed toys.
The rose has always been a popular flower among poets and romantics, who consider it to represent love, passion and beauty.
There are different colored roses and each has a different meaning.
Red Roses – Love and passion
Yellow Roses – Friendship
White Roses – True love and purity of the mind
Pink Roses – Friendship or Sweetheart
Black Roses – Farewell
Lovebirds and Doves
Lovebirds and doves are a prominent Valentine’s Day symbol.
This originates from an archaic belief that birds found their mates on February 14th. Furthermore, doves signify purity, innocence and humility, while lovebirds conjure up visions of couples in love.
Cupid’s story dates back to Roman mythology. He was the son of Venus, the Goddess of Love. According to tradition, Cupid was sent out on errands with his bow and a quiver of arrows, and those hit by the arrows fell in love.
In commemoration of Valentine’s Day, the Grand Hotel Excelsior has prepared a luxurious treat for couples:
Make this Valentine’s Day memorable, and ensure that you and your loved one feel truly special and pampered at this luxury 5 star hotel in Malta.