Feast Your Eyes
There are so many things to do in St. Julian’s and so many reasons for you to be in this town during the summer months.
It is literally buzzing!
Summer vibes are relaxed by day, when many simply want to relax by the rocky beaches. You can walk along the promenade from as early as 5 a.m. and see people taking their first dip for the day or before they have to go to work. By night the scene livens up, the mood turns up a notch – partying is in the air.
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For a real treat you must stick around for the feast. If you happen to be in St. Julian’s during the last weekend of August then there really is no escaping it. You become part of the feast aura quite quickly as the town changes ever so slightly about you.
There’s a whole commotion, the streets are colourfully decorated, lights are hung from the lampposts, the stalls along the promenade have more of a festive edge to them.
Food Food Food
Along with the usual accessory stalls and local honey producers you will also find donut, candyfloss and traditional almond pasti sweet stalls. Children’s toy stalls along with more ice-cream trucks, and balloons of course. And do not forget to try the deliciously warm imqaret (date filled fried dough, for a somewhat healthier version they are also oven baked), sometimes served with vanilla ice-cream. Honey rings are also a big thing, as well as the nougat stalls and the helwa tat-tork is quite lovely. Sample them all!
The streets are blocked off so that the processions can pass through. The processions involve volunteers walking around the streets in an orderly fashion, usually carrying holy figures or statues, related to the feast. More stalls are put up along the Spinola seafront and all the bars are bustling with people.
The activities usually take-off from late afternoon and keep on going through to the night, as the people walk around the stalls, eat and laugh with family and friends.
When it comes to the more traditional stuff there’s the gostra (greasy pole climbing competition).
This needs some explaining. So for places which are close to the sea, a pole is smothered in fat to make it slippery. The contestants then try to run up the angled pole to reach the flag at the tip. Whoever manages to remove it from its place wins a prize.
It’s a tradition.
On the last night the local band performs around the streets at night, playing religious tunes for the most part.
To check out the firework spectacle you can go to Spinola Bay or head over to Independence Gardens to really get the feel of the people and the best views.
Apart from the amazing fireworks you will also be able to experience the super spectacle that is ‘cikcifogu’ – a ground level display of fire-workmanship.
If you do have time, go to other feasts around the island to see how things are done differently. If you have the chance catch the ferry to Gozo too!
Feasts are the real deal – you can truly get the feel of what it means to be part of the Mediterranean culture, the Maltese culture.
Thank you for reading our blog post, we hope you have found it informative. Have a look at our other blogs:
See you next week!