Holy Week and Easter


The celebrations of Holy Week and Easter are primarily of a religious character, taking place in churches where the faithful gather in large numbers to commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.

The Friday following Good Friday marks the beginning of Holy week. The statue of Our Lady of Sorrows is carried in a procession through the streets of Valletta and many other towns and villages.

On Maundy Thursday – the eve of Good Friday – People participate in ‘the seven visits’ , being the visits to seven different churches, to pay homage to the Altars of Repose.

On Good Friday churches are deprived of the traditional ornamental style. Late in the afternoon, various towns and villages commemorate the Passion of the Christ with a solemn procession of statues. The statues are carried by bearers and each represent a particular episode in the Passion of the Christ . 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. It is common for some processions to include men bearing crosses or dragging chains tied to their bare feet, as an act of faith or penance.

Easter Sunday, however, takes on a whole different mood, with ringing church bells to announce the Resurrection of Christ. Mid-morning , the statue of the Risen Christ moves along the streets in a procession accompanied by a band playing festive tunes. At the end, the way is cleared and the statue-bearers take a run to carry the Risen Christ triumphantly back into the church.

Easter day is traditionally celebrated with a special family lunch. It is a time to visit relatives and friends, exchanging good wishes and small presents. Children often receive easter eggs and/or a ‘figolla’ , an almond-filled pastry in the shape of a rabbit, lamb, fish or heart, covered in icing sugar.




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