Happy Easter Everyone!
We survived another holiday in Malta, and I learned a lot about new traditions and tried some new treats.
As the population of the island is mainly Catholic Easter is an important holiday is celebrated accordingly.
The celebrations of the Holy Week start a week from Good Friday and finish on Easter Sunday. During the week a variety of ceremonies and processions take place.
The Main ones are of course the Procession on Good Friday and the one on Easter Sunday.
It is a mainly religious feast but also a holiday to spend with family and eat a lot of Maltese Easter sweets.
While Good Friday is a day to be dressed in black and remember the suffering and dead of Jesus Christ, Easter Sunday is a happy occasion and time for a grand celebration with the loved ones.
During the Holy Week many smaller Processions are held, but on the Friday before Easter one of the biggest takes place. One of the most famous ones and the one we watched starts in the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Valletta and takes statues and dressed up people in the hills of the Maltese capital.
But there are other Processions all over the Maltese islands. You can watch them in Żebbuġ, Mosta, Birgu (Vittoriosa), Isla (Senglea), Bormla (Cospicua), Luqa, Naxxar, Paola, Qormi (San Ġorġ parish), Rabat, Żejtun
They all start around 5-6pm and feature a band, impressive statues, and interesting costumes.
The procession tells the story of Jesus’ death and his way to the cross. While the band, dressed in black, plays dramatic music. Several people carry the big and heavier statues and show scenes of the biblical stories related to the Death of Christ. Kids carry wooden signs announcing the characters and story to follow. There are the Romans, Jesus’ Apostles like Petrus and other famous figures from the Bible.
The Procession date back to the 16th century following Spanish and Sicilian traditions. Although they changed over the time, their origin goes way back. There is a difference between the specific ceremonies, depending on the city.
Easter Sunday is a way happier occasion as people celebrate the rise of Jesus Christ. After the morning ceremony in the church, local communities celebrate with a small procession during the mid-morning. Of course, this procession is accompanied by a band as well, But this time the tunes are way happier.
After the Procession, the Risen Christ’s carriers run back to church carrying the statue as a symbol of the triumph. And it good old Maltese manner some communities shoot some fireworks to make it a feast.
Typical Good Friday Food is the: sfineġ (fried bread dough filled with anchovy), karamelli tal-ħarrub (carob sweets), hot cross buns or qagħaq tal-appostli (bread rings with almonds), they are sold close to the parades.
On Easter, Sunday children and adults with a sweet tooth receive sugar coated Easter eggs and people eat figolla. It is an almond-filled pastry in the shape of typical easter motives, like hearts, lambs rabbits or fish. They are covered in Icing or chocolate and very delicious.
It is also very sweet so while I am in a sugar coma, I hope you enjoy the rest of your Easter no matter if you celebrate or just have some quiet time with us.