The Feast of Mary's Assumption in Malta
The Feast of Mary's Assumption, also known as the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Santa Marija, is a significant religious and cultural event in Malta. This feast commemorates the belief that the Virgin Mary was taken up into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly life. In Malta, this event is celebrated with great devotion and festivity.
The Feast of Mary's Assumption is observed on the 15th of August each year in Malta. This date has been fixed since the early days of the Christian Church and does not change from year to year.
The Feast of the Assumption has been celebrated in Malta since the early days of Christianity on the island. It is said to have been introduced by St. Paul, the Apostle, who is believed to have been shipwrecked on Malta in 60 AD. The feast gained prominence during the rule of the Order of St. John in the 16th century, as the Knights of St. John were particularly devoted to the Virgin Mary. Under their rule, the feast became an important annual event in the Maltese calendar.
National customs for the Feast of Mary's Assumption in Malta
The Feast of Mary's Assumption in Malta is marked by various religious and cultural customs. One of the most important aspects of the celebration is the procession of a statue of the Virgin Mary through the streets of many Maltese towns and villages. People gather along the procession route to pay their respects and seek blessings from the Virgin Mary.
In addition to the religious observances, the Feast of Mary's Assumption is also a time for celebration, with various entertainment events taking place throughout the island. These include musical performances, fireworks displays, and feasts, which are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
Local customs for the Feast of Mary's Assumption in Malta
While the Feast of Mary's Assumption is celebrated throughout Malta, some local customs are specific to certain towns and villages. For example, in the village of Mqabba, the locals organize a unique fireworks display called "Il-Moqcar" that includes a competition between different fireworks factories.
In the town of Mosta, the feast coincides with the anniversary of the miracle of the Mosta Dome when, during World War II, a bomb fell into the church during mass but failed to explode. As a result, special celebrations take place in Mosta to remember this miraculous event.
The Feast of Mary's Assumption in Malta is a time-honored tradition that holds great religious and cultural significance for the Maltese people. It is an event that brings communities together in devotion, celebration, and festivity. With its unique blend of religious observances and entertainment, the Feast of Mary's Assumption remains an important and cherished event in the Maltese calendar.