Mnarja- tradition

This weekend we had a special celebration in Malta. It’s called Mnarja- the feast of St Peter and St Paul – and is probably the most important date in the Maltese folklore diary. The feast was originally celebrated in Mdina and people from all over the island used to spend the whole night eating and singing besides the fortifications of Mdina. In the following morning they used to organise races. The procession in Imdina was organised for the first time around 1613. In the sixteenth century there were the races for men, boys, slaves and donkeys as well. The flags used to be presented in front of the Banca Giuratale, then there used to be an open air theatre, constructed yearly for the great occasion. Their ‘trophies’ were maybe swords, caps or handkerchiefs.
It seems that in the 18th century the feast moved to Buskett (our manmade forest done by the Knights of St John) where people used to spend the night before the Imnarja’s feast. The agriculture show was initiated when Reid was the British governor of the island in 1854. Nowadays farmers take some of their best products to Buskett for the agriculture show. There is also an animal show and horse racing. Regarding food, many people like to taste the rabbit on that day which is a traditional dish. On the eve you have folklore singing still as well. We went on the day and here are a few pics I took.


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