The Malta Independent 15 August 2022, Monday

Feast enthusiasts fume as Christmas band performance draws crowds in Valletta

Monday, 13 December 2021, 11:01 Last update: about 9 months ago

Religious feast enthusiasts have been left fuming after footage emerged of a Christmas-themed band drawing crowds in Valletta over the weekend.

A video posted to a Facebook group calling for feasts to be allowed to take place in 2022 showed a band performing at the stairs of the Royal Opera House in Valletta, surrounded by throngs of people taking videos and photos of the occasion.

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It has left a bitter taste in the mouth of feast enthusiasts in particular who, owing to the Covid-19 restrictions, have not been allowed to organise their own activities – or even processions – as part of their respective village feasts.

Many commented on the video blasting the “double standards” shown from authorities by allowing these Christmas activities – which are organised by the government’s Valletta Cultural Agency – to take place and not allowing feast-related activities, including those involving local bands, to take place.

The latest feast to have to be cancelled was that of Cospicua, which would have been scheduled to take place last week.

Health authorities have since adjusted the Covid-19 measures to allow processions to take place as long as attendance is restricted to 100 people who are all wearing masks.

However, a bitter taste still remains.

People who commented on the video criticised the lax enforcement and the crowding around the band – with many of the same people noting how a blind eye seems to be turned when there is the generation of business involved.

“I think Covid only spreads during feasts according to the health authorities, as everything is being allowed apart from anything which has to do with culture and religion,” another person commented.

One other man went one step further and said that if feasts continue to not be allowed he would not vote in the upcoming general election.

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