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Santa Maria Festa In Mqabba

The Feast of Santa Maria or the Assumption of Our Lady to Heaven, is probably Malta's most celebrated Festa, as it is celebrated in the peak of summer where most companies take a week of for their holidays, similar to the Italian's Ferragosto period. Santa Maria is celebrated on the 15th of August, which is also a national public holiday in 7 towns and villages across Malta and Gozo and each village puts up an excellent display of traditional Maltese fireworks and a Festa atmosphere. The towns that celebrate the feast of the Assumption are: Hal Għaxaq, Gudja, Attard, Mosta, Mqabba, Qrendi and Victoria. 

Traditionally, the village of Mqabba has held wonderful firework displays which are synchronised with Music in celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Assumption. Many locals and tourists alike make their way to Mqabba to see the spectacular firework display during these two evenings which is highly recommended.

Mqabba, a small rural pictureqe village of no more than 3,000 inhabitants, situated in the South-West of the Island, just 2km from Malta International Airport, a village where the local feast has deep roots in the locals way of life and has been well renowned for one of the biggest Feasts celebrated on the Island as early as the early days of the 20th contury.

The feast of Our Lady of Assumption, or as it is better known locally Santa Marija, is the celebrated between 31 July and 22 August reaching its climax between 9 and 15 August.  The feast consists of one week of celebrations by the local community.

The Feast of the Assumption of St Mary, in Mqabba, is a typical Maltese Festa, that has evolved along the years but always remained loyal its traditional aspect.  An event that has no gender, no age or no social class limits.  A truely inclusive celebration enjoyed by people from all ages and from all social background, a typical celebration of the Maltese community.

Upon arrival in the village of Mqabba during this week, one would immediately see the village full of artistic street decorations.  One can take a walking through the village core, and admire the fine drapery, statues and their pedestals rich in sculpture, some of them dating back 90 years and more. 

It’s on the evening that the village comes to life with various celebrations like band marches, joyous celebrations, aerial fireworks and Catherine wheels (Irdieden).  One can admire the also the traditional Maltese food stalls in the village core.

Religious functions are also held daily where one can also visit the local Parish church fully decorated for the special event.

The 10th of August is fully dedicated to the local King George V Band holding its annual concert featuring Classical and modern music.  While on 13 August, the celebrations are organised on a larger scale than previous days.  The youth section of our society organises a unique and innovative band marc followed by a  spectacular display of lights, confetti, laser show and fireworks all synchronised with music at the village main square. This is a exceptional event that shows how the tradition meets modern technology, producing an inimitable atmosphere.

On 14 August, the eve of the Assumption, the main spectacular fireworks display is held, organised by the 2007 Fireworks World Champions, St Mary Firework section.  Thousands of Maltese and tourists flock to the main road for a dazzling fireworks display synchronised to music at 9:15pm, which includes original effects that can only be witness in Mqabba during St. Mary’s Feast.  This year’s main feature will be the Tower of Light, a 54 metre high steel structure where fireworks are fired from, to create unique and innovative effects.  The display also showcases the traditional Maltese beraq and multi break colour shells and a spectacular Grand Finale.  All this is followed by an impressive display of mechanised Catherine wheels (locally known as Irdieden).  One can admire these structures where engineering meet fireworks to produce an amazing variety of shapes, effects and colours.

On 15 August, the climax of the Feast is reached with the procession around the village core streets with the religious artistic statue of the Assumption, accompanied by the traditional brass bands and spectacular daylight fireworks throughout the procession.  This all starts at 7:15pm.

Everyone is encouraged to visit Mqabba during this week, in order to experience an innovative, unique, exceptional yet unique Maltese festa, highighting our identity and being part of these celebrations.

More info can be found on www.santamarija.com or www.facebook.com/santamarija

Mqabba Festa Poster