MalDia The Feast of The Assumption in Rabat Gozo

The Feast of The Assumption in Rabat Gozo

 

Gloom and low morale offset by colour and spectacle

 

ALBERT FENECH

 

e/mail – salina46af@gmail.com

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jerome.fenech

MalDiaAugust was planned as a bonanza month when in early July the pandemic seemed to be under control and receding. Mass events were planned, external festa activities were on course to resume and in general, the enjoyment of the height of summer.

MalDia A Pageant must have its fireworks

A Pageant must have its fireworks

It all went askew when it became increasingly clear the islands were suffering from the pandemic spike that has swept throughout the world in August. All mass events were cancelled and new restrictions imposed on travel, social distancing and everything else under the sun.

MalDiaHowever, the human spirit cannot be subdued no matter the general gloom and low morale.

MalDiaThree major events were planned for August; a Fireworks Spectacular around various areas of the Islands; the celebration of the feast of The Assumption celebrated in seven parishes around Malta and Gozo on 15th August, and the Valletta Pageant of the Seas 2020 in Valletta’s Grand Harbour.

MalDiaAll took place in a vastly reduced form, the main emphasis being that crowds were strictly ordered to keep away (these are normally attended by thousands and thousands) and watch proceedings on a virtual online basis, mainly on tv.

MalDiaFireworks displays are annually part and parcel of summer. Groups have their factories around the Islands and work relentlessly in competition to produce the best and to better others. Preparations start early in the year but received a tremendous blow when restrictions were placed on mass events in March/April by which time many of the preparations had been completed.

MalDiaAll those involved in manufacture, mounting and firing are purely amateurs and more often than not dig personally into their own pockets to foot the expenses. Their sole aim is the pride in their work.

MalDia Vallettas Pageant of the Seas

Vallettas Pageant of the Seas

Matters seemed to be looking up but a further blow came and wholesale cancellations were once more imposed on mass events. It is highly dangerous to store fireworks from year to year and so the firing took place, on a subdued basis and mainly viewed virtually online, both for the Fireworks Spectacular and the celebration of The Assumption.

MalDia Pageant in Vallettas Grand Harbour

Pageant in Vallettas Grand Harbour

The Valletta Pageant of the Seas sponsored by the Valletta Cultural Agency took place in Valletta’s Grand Harbour on 18th August with spectators strictly ordered to keep away and view the events in a virtual online manner.

MalDia The Ferris Wheel Race

The Ferris Wheel Race

Among the major events was the usual “Tellieqa Telliqin” (the Mother of all Races) in which members of the community have to come together to build nine vessels using only recycled material. There was also “The Return of the Runaway Ferris Wheel”. Another normal main feature is The Regatta in which nine rowing clubs participate. This year however, it took a new turn in that ONLY female rowers could participate. The team from Vittoriosa emerged triumphant with Glynnis Mizzi, Rachelle Gialanze and Cayenne Mizzi winning €2,000 for their club.

MalDia Rowing Regatta for females only

Rowing Regatta for females only

The event culminated in the spectacle entitled “Il-Mappa” (The Map) with the participation of 34 yachts and 20 rowing boats, reflected in huge mirrors placed around the Harbour.

MalDia Pageant yachts

Pageant yachts

So yes, the general atmosphere is one of deep gloom and low morale, but some valiant people have helped to alleviate some of this with their superb efforts and all viewed from the comparative safety of one’s home.

God bless them all.

ALBERT FENECH

___________________________           ______________________

 

MALTESE SAYING

“I am down on my eyes”

An expression to denote intense physical and mental fatigue, tiredness and feeling totally clapped out.

____________________________               ___________________