Tag Archives: holidays

Holy Week and Easter in Malta

Easter is a festive, religious and emotional time for both locals and tourists. It is thus no surprise that one find tourists wondering around the towns and villages during the various processions and pageants that take place during the weeks preceding Easter. They try to capture everything that’s happening around them on cameras.

Within the churches, celebrations become truly alive with colours, ornaments, flowers and a great number of devotees. One of the processions that is a crowd puller is the ‘Addolorata, mainly because people identify their own miseries, pain and suffering with those of Holy Mary’s. On Maundy Thursday several local devotees visit the ‘seven churches’ where they kneel, reflect and pray beside the tomb of Christ.

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Good Friday gives a sombre outlook where churches are deprived from the traditional ornamental style for a single day. The red colour, resembling the Blood of Christ, is splashed all over the churches. On Good Friday Malta is turned into Roman and Jewish pageantry. In the inner core of villages one comes across Pontius Pilate, Barabbas and other biblical characters during the renowned processions. People do some odd penitence such as carrying heavy weights or walking barefoot! Some even cover up their faces as they pay the price for a special grace they received.

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The atmosphere changes completely the following day in the evening. Celebrations start in pitch darkness. They are then illuminated by flickering candle lights. Finally there is an ‘explosion’ of light, where churches are suddenly illuminated with candles, chandeliers, bulbs and floodlights. Bells toll happily as they break the night’s silence in order to announce Christ’s resurrection, exactly when the singing of the ‘Glorja’ commences.

During these festivities there are some very special and unique Maltese delicacies. The ‘kwarezimal’ and the ‘figolli’ top the list. There are other food items such as the Lent’s ftajjar; Karamelli and hot cross buns. Although in Lent the traditional Maltese fast, yet the street vendors are as busy as bees in keeping up with the heavy demand!

Spend your Easter Holidays in Malta. Contact Our Concierge Desk during your stay and they will advise you on Where to Go and What to Do in Malta during your holidays.

Photo Credits: Viewing Malta & Mario Galea

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Summer Feasts in Malta

Will you be visiting the Maltese islands this summer? During the summer months, almost every weekend or even during the week, there is a feast in some village or another in Malta and Gozo. Have a look at some of the Feasts that will be taking place around Malta and Gozo during your holidays.

grand life Spring july2015 small-page-006View the 2015 Summer Feasts in Malta

The Grand Hotel Excelsior, a superior 5 star hotel in Malta has a prime location, which allows for easy access to all locations around the Maltese Islands. If you would like to visit any of these feasts during your holidays please feel free to contact our Chauffeur driven service and they will surely assist you with your travelling needs.

 

 

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Traditional Easter Pastries: Figolli

Easter Figolla

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.

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