Malta Diary Malta always on the go – an island that never sleeps?
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We as inhabitants are fully used to it. Should anybody plan to visit Malta – be prepared to be on the go.
Take the first week-end of May. OK, it may not have been a typical weekend, but not so untypical either.
The highlight was undoubtedly the Lost&Found musical festival spread between Thursday and Sunday and mainly centred around Qawra and Bugibba. The festival is an annual event and has been gaining more and more popularity year by year. This year it was estimated to have drawn 10,000 youths to Malta, mainly from the UK.
This was a huge bonanza for hotels, those with apartments to hire, restaurants, bars and taxis and was estimated to have injected €8 million into the country’s economy.
Naturally, there was also the downside. Such festival audiences and followers always include a proportion of druggees and drunks. Thankfully, there was no violence but on arrival two youths were arrested for having been drunk on the ‘plane and two arriving drugs traffickers jailed each for four years.
In the aftermath, a handful of people whose mind is still encapsulated in the strait-laced days of a century ago complained bitterly of the standard of dress – or LACK OF IT to be more accurate – with some of the visitors walking around the streets of the seaside resort in scanty bikinis and tangas and exposing parts of their bodies normally kept covered.
The hyper-hysteria of social media naturally took the matter up and resulted in journalists actually approaching the Minister Responsible for Tourism to ask him whether he approved of such goings-on to which his reply was he does not embroil himself in such trivialities!
Meanwhile, over the same weekend in the more sedate locality in central Malta, Sant’ Anton Gardens donned its spring decor with the annual exhibition by the Malta Horticultural Society, auspicious for its floral arrangements. This is one of the oldest exhibitions and stretches back over more than the last 100 years, 116 years to be precise.
It is a show of flowers, fruit, vegetables and typical Maltese handicraft products, the highlight of the show being the impressive floral arrangements on show.
Sadly, despite its more than 100 years of history the show has been gradually declining in popularity in the number of exhibiting participants and people visiting the show. In days of yore this was one of a few annual attractions. Nowadays there are so many simultaneous attractions it is difficult to choose which to attend.
A pity really because at this time of the year the Gardens are wondrous in all their spring beauty.
Throughout the preceding week, the International Malta Fireworks Festival was lighting up the spring evenings and nights with a particular aerial pyrotechnical spectacle around the Valletta Grand Harbour.
The Festival culminated on the Saturday evening with a ground fireworks show on the Floriana Granaries, drawing thousands of spectators as both aerial and ground fireworks are part of Malta’s staple diet and are always popular.
To follow up on the Sunday morning, Floriana followed with the feast of St Publius, more fireworks, band marches and a solemn procession.
Yep, never a dull moment around here.
So, if anybody is planning visiting Malta and Gozo at this time of the year – be prepared. If you are an insomnia sufferer – no problem. Something, somewhere is always happening and if all fails, pop over to popular Paceville and drown your sorrows there is the scores of bars and discos.
“His eyes are larger than his stomach”
Describing a person who bites off more than he can chew and possibly digest.