It is said that August is the peak of Summer...Yes, and in the small village of Mqabba its Festa Time! Despite the lack in size, this village of only 3,000 inhabitants, shines when it comes to Festa traditions. Between the 9th and 15th of August, this quaint village one of the largest and most popular feasts in Malta; Santa Marija.
1. The Decorations
The village is dressed up with fine and artistic decorations. Ranging from wooden pedestals boasting statues on top, some shy of a century old, to cloth decorations known as ‘Pavaljuni’ and ‘bandalori’ beautifying the village and adding scenes of royalty to the streets and village core.
The tranquil village comes to life with band marches playing through the village’s streets, commencing at 8:00pm peaking at 10:00pm as soon as the bands reach the village square. Not to forget the classic concert on the 10 August.
The St.Mary Fireworks Group of Mqabba, is well known on a worldwide scale for its lavish displays charming spectators and lighting up the skies throughout the week.
4. Irdieden (Catherine Wheels)
Mechanised ground fireworks display, known as Irdieden, which is strategically placed all over the town square. These mechanical structures are engineered to offer innovative effects and colours, featuring structures up to 10 metres in diameter.
5. Audiovisual Dispalys
Modern age technology is also incorporated within this village feast, with laser shows, fireworks and confetti displays syncronised with live music held on the evening of the 13th of August.
6. Religious Aspect
The main focus of the feast remains the religious aspect, enticing mulitcultural individuals irrespective of their beliefs by the devotion shown in the patron saint. One can visit the parish church dedicated to the Assumption of Saint Mary, decorated for the occasion alongside the various medieval chapels found across the village. A procession is held on the 15th of August, with the Statue of the Assumption at the centre of the parade.
The feast is a social gathering organised by various volunteers serving as an opportunity for locals and foreigners from all aspects of life to interact, share experiences and enjoy a major part of Malta’s cultural heritage. Mqabba’s own feast boasts a unique atmosphere with innovative features that this society is well renowned for. Ultimately visiting Mqabba during this week in August is a must do!