Friday, November 21, 2008
Christmas in Valletta
Christmas in Malta is not what it used to be, in that it has become as commercial an event as in any other country. Yet the religious pomp and ceremony are still highly visible. Most of the imagery from my childhood is also still there. A statue of baby Jesus in a crib is given prominence in the entrance hall to most Maltese homes surrounded by 'gulbiena', canary seed shoots that are grown white in the dark (I clearly recall us as children placing them under the bed) that provide a glow when lit by Christmas lights. Most family homes will have their own crib (presepju) with all the characters from the bible story. I am not absolutely sure whether the traditional child sermon (priedka tat-tifel) has survived in the parish churches. The boy or girl would learn the sermon off by heart and it would be the heart warming part of the midnight mass. Then there are the processions where children carry the baby Jesus in a manger as they sing carols in the streets of the villages on Christmas eve.
This time round I have acquired an antique statue of baby Jesus to place in Valletta G-House. It's in plaster but has its own (blond!) hair and it will definitely add more Christmassy atmosphere to the house along with the other decorations we usually put up at this time.
We still have some Christmas time booking offers for those that have not decided where to spend their holidays this Christmas. Take the opportunity and book now!