Good Friday and Easter are celebrated in Malta and Gozo in a liturgical and ceremonially prominent manner. On Palm Sunday, one may assist to the liturgical rites that usher in Holy Week. On Thursday evening and Friday morning, churches have their paintings draped over in purple or black velvet. The Maltese folk turn out in their thousands to visit and pray in seven different churches as traditionally observed.
On Good Friday, late afternoon, Victoria, Nadur, Xaghra and Zebbug commemorate the Passion of the Christ by an organised and very solemn procession of statues. Each of these statues represents a particular episode in the Passion of the Christ and is carried by pallbearers. Between one statue and another (some ten in all) participants are dressed as biblical characters who take part in the procession in a dignified manner. Many processions include men in penitence bearing a cross and sometimes dragging chains as well tied to their bare feet as penitence.
Easter manifests itself in a happier and festive mood. The Statue of the Risen Christ signifies the last act of the Passion of the Christ – Christ triumphant over death. This time all will rejoice to the commemoration that ‘Christ is Risen from the Dead’. Tradition dictates that children carry their Easter pastry (figolla) to be blessed by the statue of the Risen Christ. Easter is a demarcation line in the calendar of Malta’s seasonal calendar as it heralds the beginning of Spring.
Programm of activities being held over this weekend:
Friday, 11th April 2014
Victoria – Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows – At 6.30 pm. an open-air Mass by the Bishop of Gozo at Independence Square and afterwards a Procession with the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows around the streets of Victoria.
Xewkija & Ghajnsielem – Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows – a procession of Pageantry leaving the parish church at 7.00 pm.
Saturday, 12th April 2014
Xewkija – Reenactment of the episode between the Last Supper and the capture and arrest of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Saturday and Sunday, Gnien ta’ Blankas Olive Grove at Mgarr ix-Xini Heights, Xewkija, will be open to the public. Visitors will have the opportunity to ‘experience the environment of 2000 years ago and walk in the footsteps of Jesus’. There will be available maps of the locations and every place will have a description of what happened back then. This re-enactment wwill be held on two nights, Saturday and Sunday, the 12th and 13th of April, leaving from Xewkija Square at 8.00 pm. and starting at 8.30 pm. at ta’ Blankas Olive Grove, Xewkija
Sunday, 13th April 2014 – Palm Sunday
Morning processions including the blessing of olive tree branches.
Victoria – 11.00 am. at Ministry for Gozo Hall – A Piano Zakuska – Elena Lebedeva (Piano) Russia
39th edition of the Gozo Half Marathon:
the 39th edition of the Gozo Half Marathon is being held on Sunday, the 27th of April. The event, which is the largest athletic event in Gozo attracting hundreds of athletes, will incorporate a number of races.
Apart from the half marathon (13.1 mile), athletes can participate in a number of other races.
While adults can participate in the 13.1 mile, 8 mile and 13.1 mile mountain bike races, children can take part in the 4km or 2km, depending on their ages. Registration for the 2 km Fun Run is open to all ages, making it possible for the whole family to participate and enjoy a day out.
All races start at 9.15am and conveniently start and end at the Xaghra Square. A total of 89 trophies will be awarded to the best performers.
Fees for applications received by the 18th of April are set at just €12 for adults and €5 for children and fun run participants. The fee is inclusive of a participation medal, transport between Mgarr Ferry Terminal and Xaghra Square, as well as showering and sanitary facilities.
Late application fees apply after 18th of April, with no applications will be accepted after the 25th of April.
For more information one can visit http://www.gozomarathon.org.