February 2, 2014 Editor

L-Imnarja – a feast of light

The Feast commemorates two important Saints in Maltese religious lore, St Peter and St Paul. The word ‘luminarja’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Luminara’ – light source. This was the way people manifested their joy in recognition of a particular feast, such lighting being offered by burning bonfires and candles. This feast has somewhat moved away from the traditional village ‘festa’ style and has developed a different type of merriment which is held in Buskett Garden on the eve of June 29 the day of the feast. This is a tree grove situated some one kilometre away from Rabat and it is typical for the night to be entertained by folk musicians, and traditional cuisine and local wine.

The liturgical services are held in the Mdina Cathedral. During the late afternoon hours, numerous horse and donkey races are held in a country lane situated just below and at some distance from Mdina. The contenders vie for the Palju (a traditional banner that is presented as a trophy to the winners of various categories of races) which in olden times used to be presented to the winners by non other than the Grand Master of the Order.

The feast of St. Peter and St. Paul is also celebrated in Nadur, Gozo, this time in the usual festive manner that is normally held in towns and villages.

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Do not miss the competition at Buskett on the 29th where fresh fruit and farm animals contest for the best in their category. Best to be at Buskett as early at 8:00am to enjoy the full parade. Easy to spot is the Maltese bull for it’s size, and temperament.

Do not miss the traditional donkey and mule race at Saqqajja (Rabat)[/like-gate]

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