Festivities in Victoria to celebrate the Feast of Santa Marija
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This week celebrations have been taking place for the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, also known as Santa Marija, which is being celebrated in Victoria. It is also the 150th anniversary of The Leone Band of Victoria, Gozo and special celebrations to mark the occasion started last year.
Programme for Feast day of Santa Marija, the 15th of August
At 9.00am The President of Malta, Dr George Abela, will attend the Concelebrated Pontifical High Mass by HL Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo on the occasion of the feast of Marija Assunta, at the Cathedral in Victoria.
At 11.00am The President will view exhibits and preside over the prize giving Ceremony at the traditional Wirja tal-Biedja u Snajja 2013 at the Villa Rundle Public Gardens.
Also at 11.00am the Traditional Band march will get underway through the streets of Victoria, with the 12th May Band of Zebbug Malta and the St Joseph Band of Hamrun.
At 2.30pm there will be the horse racing in Republic Streed, with prizes presented by the Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo.
The Grand Finale of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, also known as Santa Marija, will be celebrated in Victoria in the evening.
At 7.00pm the statue of Our Lady will start on the procession, with the participation of the Gozo Cathedral Chapter, Parish Clergy, the Leone Band, the Chorus Ecclesiae Cathedralis and the Cathedral Youth Choir.
Also at 7.00pm the St Gregory Band of Kercem will march from the Leone Band Club to the Cathedral Square where they will play a musical programme.
Xaghra’s Victory Band will play a musical programme on the bandstand in Independence Square.
There will be a grand fireworks display on Gelmus Hill at 10pm before the entry of the statue of Our Lady into the Cathedral, this will be followed by a band march at 11.00pm by the Leone Band from the Cathedral parish centre to Independence Square.
This year is also the the 71st anniversary of codename Operation Pedestal, the arrival of the Santa Marija convoy, which saved Malta from surrender when the allied convoy of food and fuel reached the islands on the 15th of August 1942, despite the heavy bombardment inflicted by German and Italian planes and the sinking of many of the ships.