‘Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem’ 5th edition inaugurated by the Prime Minister
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‘Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem,’ 5th edition, was inaugurated on Saturday evening by the Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat, who was accompanied by his wife Michelle and their two daughters.
The nativity village was blessed by the Bishop of Gozo Mgr Mario Grech.
Following the arrival of the Prime Minister, the actors started to enter into the nativity village in a pageant-style procession while the St. Joseph Band played the national anthem.
After greeting those present and the families that animate the event, the Prime Minister made a speech for the occasion.
The Prime Minister praised the sense of commitment, work and the merger between the organisers and participants in recent months, ensuring that this event had been able to take place. In his speech, the mayor of Ghajnsielem Frans Cauchi, thanked the Ministry for Gozo, in particular the Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo for the confidence and unfailing support offered to the event.
Parliamentary Secretaries Franco Mercieca and Jose Herrera also attended the inauguration.
The Prime Minister and his family were then taken on a tour of the’Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem’ nativity village.
Many hundreds of people turned up for the first day of the nativity village and enjoyed an evening of entertainment with a magical atmosphere.
There are numerous attractions on offer this year, ranging from carpenter and blacksmith houses, a market selling natural fruits, fresh fish and vegetables, a stable hosting animals and of course a grotto with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
New additions for this year will include the local crafts area and a family residence built in the same style of Judea of 2000 years ago.
The atmosphere and experience is once again a unique one… fresh water flows around these structures through a small river. Thirsty visitors can to enjoy a tipple at the tavern, coupled with local food.
Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem has this year featured in Essential Travel’s top 10 Christmas Displays in the World.
Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem will remain open until the 5th of January and is animated on weekends and public holiday and weekdays between Christmas and New Years Day.
The organisers have announce that Three Kings will this year depart from the Italian town of Tolfa which is twinned with Ghajnsielem.
Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem is being organized by an action committee led by the Ghajnsielem Local Council with the support and assistance of the Ministry for Gozo and together with the local NGOs and Ghajnsielem Parish.
The nativity village is just a 5 minute walk away from Mgarr Harbour and will be animated on the following days:
Sunday 15th 2.00pm – 7.30pm
Monday 16th* 9.30am – 1.30pm*
Thursday 19th* 9.30am – 1.30pm*
Saturday 21st 4.30pm – 8.30pm
Sunday 22nd 2.00pm – 7.30pm
Wednesday 25th 2.30pm – 8.30pm
Thursday 26th 4.30pm – 7.30pm
Friday 27th 4.30pm – 7.30pm
Saturday 28th 4.30pm – 8.30pm
Sunday 29th 2.00pm – 7.30pm
Wednesday 1st 2.30pm – 8.00pm
Saturday 4th 4.30pm – 8.00pm
Sunday 5th** 2.00pm – 8.00pm**
Above schedule is not final and is subject to change without notice. Should the weather not permit, the organisers reserve the right to cancel the animation
* On 16th and 19th December, Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem will open two special sessions in the morning for the school children and the elderly where the nativity village will also be animated by the children. Everyone is welcome!
** The Nativity village will close with the Adoration of the Magi on Epiphany, Sunday, the 5th of January 2013. The ‘Three Kings’ will depart from Tolfa in Italy and make their long journey to Gozo, before making the triumphal entrance to the nativity village late in the afternoon.
Public transportation is encouraged when travelling to Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem. Visitors can choose either to leave their car at Cirkewwa Terminal and walk up to the crib from Mgarr Harbour or park their car in the Ghajnsielem centre and walk down to the entrance. Parking is also available at Ghajnsielem F.C. football grounds.
Organised tours are welcome. Please contact Local Council Office on 21561515
Entrance is FREE. No bookings are required.