Flipping through some summer memory shots makes me think about the many Village Feasts again. Time to sum up some of the main ingredients of a Village Feast:
– you need fireworks. both on the ground and in the air. preferably also during the day, these are called daytime-fireworks and they basically just make a lot of noise. they sound the 12 o’clock gunshots from the Saluting Battery in Valletta, only that they are louder, uncontrolled and somehow erratic. also very annoying if you want to sleep in. (if sometimes feels and sounds as if the house next to you was being bombarded by aliens
from Orion only that we all know that aliens don’t exist… at least not since the last Orion-Wars) .
anyways, firework displays.
we love them.
– you need sweets and loads of food. qubbajt (traditional nougats), an array of fried food, street stalls selling beer, sugary and salty foods of somehow ominous taste and aftertaste. important however for the subsequent consumption of alcohol!
– you need intricate decorations, confetti throwing, extravagantly lit and decorated churches. you need carrying of heavy life-size religious statues, mostly over uneven territory.
– you need a gang, ardent supporters who willingly and volontarily go about through all sorts of hassle. these supporters (young and old) start to prepare for the great day weeks (if not months) ahead. Band clubs practise the musical programmes and marches which will be executed on the feast day throughout the streets, others gather funds for the fireworks, the rest take care of decorating the streets and the church facade… it leaves me in awe, really.
– you need bands, processions, the ringing of church bells, … as mentioned, the louder the better. the louder, the more chances you have that God and your Saint are really paying attention. And mostly you will know how devoted people really are. And i am not joking here!
The more spectacular the festa is the better.
Last but not least, one of my favorite takes ever: a devote man waiting for the big party of the Festa to start. temporarily, the main street has been transformed into a massive open air discotheque with the disco ball waiting to be set in motion. what the man is actually looking at and what we as outsiders can only always imagine, is the over sized statue of the Rising Madonna opposite the disco-ball. I can think of no better imagine to show your massive devotion.