The Malta Independent 23 February 2020, Sunday

Il-Festa Ta’ Lapsi

Monday, 20 April 2015, 14:13 Last update: about 6 years ago

Annual St Julian’s folklore event resurrected for the fifth consecutive year

Following the tremendous success witnessed over the past four years, Il-Festa ta' Lapsi national folklore event in St Julian's will be held once again on Sunday 7 June. 

This year the organisers have decided to spread the event across the whole day from 10am until 4pm.

In the past, this St Julian's folklore event was so popular that it was considered as being equal to the still popular Mnarja event, held annually at Buskett gardens.  Those who still remember these golden years of the event say that thousands of people used to come to Spinola Bay for the annual event.

Apart from that, historic documents have revealed that this particular event was already popular around 500 years ago.  In fact, documents show how the Grandmaster of the Order of the Knights of St John used to attend the annual national event and stay at his own palace overlooking Spinola Bay, the palace which is still known to us as Spinola Palace.

The St Julian's Local Council will even be re-enacting the Grandmaster's annual visit.

The bay and promenade will be transformed once again in a folkloristic village.  This year, a record of around 50 exhibitors will set up stands and demonstrate their skills in local artisan trades and even local agricultural products. 

These stands will be located along Spinola Bay and St George's Road, where there will be  stands with filigree, art, clay statues, wood sculpture, stone sculpture, egg art, glass painting, lace, jewels and accessories, ceramics, embroidery, wooden frames, soaps from natural ingredients, and much more. There will also me others with agricultural products such as gbejna, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, capers, honey, and other traditional produce, along with food stalls selling traditional food, fresh fruit, nougat, traditional sweets and wines.

Apart from that, there will be a re-enactment of a traditional Maltese farm with decorated carts and animals.  The entire venue will be fully decorated with large flags and banners with the Grandmaster's coat of arms. 

Along Spinola Bay there will be musicians with traditional instruments and folk dancers interacting with the general public.  Visitors will also be able to enjoy, free of charge, a ride in a Maltese traditional cab around the venue.

Activities on the day will kick off at 10am when stands will be opened and band marches by the Spinola Band and the St Julian's Band will be held.

 At 11.15am, local bands will accompany a folklore parade, with the participation of various children's dance schools in folk costumes, traditional cabs and traditionally decorated carts.

Soon after, stage activities will begin, with a full Maltese folklore programme with the participation of children's dance schools, the Ta' Verna Folk Band, folk musicians and singers, Ghaqda Kummittiva Xaghra, which will perform the traditional Gozitan folklore dance and the Aurora Folk Group. 

This Programme will be compered by Noel D'Amato and will run until 3pm.

At the same time, the Seguna Folk Group will entertain the general public along St George's Road and the Spinola seafront.

Of particular interest, will be a traditional Maltese wedding re-enactment, which will take place along St George's Road and in front of the Immaculate Conception chapel.

Street theatre will be also ongoing through the event, with various re-enactments by the Malta Tourism Authority and the In Guardia troupe.

The highlight of the event will definitely be the Grand Historical Re-enactment which will be presented by the Malta Tourism Authority. It will see the participation of some 90 actors wearing historical costumes.  This will kick off at 2.45pm and will bring the event to an end at around 4pm.   The re-enactment will be bolstered with the use of horses and other animals, and the firing of muskets and cannons. 

The Grandmaster will arrive by a traditional Maltese boat and will be given a warm welcome with folk dancing and the firing of cannons.   From there, the Grandmaster will march to his Palace.  The re-enactment will feature a live commentary by George Peresso.

Il-Festa ta' Lapsi 2015 is being organised by the St Julian's Local Council and co-ordinated by Leon Promotions, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and the Malta Tourism Authority.

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