The Ghaqda Dilettanti Gimgha l-Kbira – Ghawdex: Easter Festival

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Easter Festival 2014 - The Ghaqda Dilettanti Gimgha l-Kbira – GhawdexThe Ghaqda Dilettanti Gimgha l-Kbira – Ghawdex is once again organising the Easter Festival – 2014 edition, which includes a number of activities in connection with Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

The Festival opened last Wednesday at the start of Lent, with the publication of a limited edition philatelic postcard, this year in memory of Leli Camilleri, an active member of the group, who passed away last November. This postcard as well as previous publications, can be obtained from the Sacred Art Exhibition.Easter Festival 2014 - The Ghaqda Dilettanti Gimgha l-Kbira – GhawdexThe traditional exhibition of Sacred Art will be held in the Hall of the Sacred Heart Seminary, in Enrico Mizzi Street, Victoria, from the 15th to the 23rd of March.

Exhibits will include artistic works being shown courtesy of private collectors, as well as churches and public entities. Of particular interest is a life-size statue of La Macarena, the Virgin of Hope, which is housed in Seville, Spain. This statue is by local artist Michael Cutajar Zahra.

The statue and exhibition will be inaugurated by the Minister for Gozo Dr Anton Refalo. ET Mons. Bishop Mario Grech, will bless the statue and exhibition, as well as the work of artists and volunteers of the Association who are hosting this exhibition .

The exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday, the 15th of March, until Sunday, the 23rd of March, from 9.00am-12.00pm and 4.30pm to 7.00pm.

On Tuesday the 18th of March, in the same location as the exhibition, Mr Anthony Farrugia will speak on the subject of Good Friday in Gozo in the light of new historical findings. This will start at 7.00pm.

A Festival of Easter Food, on the traditional Gozitan ad Maltese foods and drinks associated with Lent, Holy Week and Easter, is being held at the Ta ‘Pinu Basilica Restaurant, on Saturday, the 29th of March, and will begin with a Mass inside Ta’ Pinu, starting at 6.30pm. Tickets for this food festival can be purchased at the Sacred Art Exhibition.

The festival reaches its climax with L-Imsallab fi Triqatna, passion play which takes place around the streets of Victoria, on Saturday, the 5th of April, starting from St Augustine Square at 7.00pm. Then on the 9th of April it will be repeated in the village of Mqabba, Malta.

The Ghaqda Dilettanti Gimgha l-Kbira – Ghawdex, was founded in June 1997 by a group of gozitan enthusiasts, who were fond of the easter traditions in the Maltese islands. Its purpose was to promote Lent, Holy Week and the Easter traditions in Malta and Gozo.

The first passion play staged by the Ghaqda Dilettanti Gimgha l-Kbira – Ghawdex, dates back to 1999. In that year the passion play was performed at the Don Bosco Theatre in Victoria, Gozo. In the jubilee year 2000, the passion play was performed with a difference. The venue was neither a theatre nor a church but just the streets forming the core of the oldest locality in Gozo, namely the borgo of Victoria, the island’s capital. This performance was called L-Imsallab fi Triqatna (The crucified in our streets).

This tradition now continues each year. The play starts the Oratory Don Bosco in St Augustine Square and proceeds through the streets of Victoria followed by the large crowds that are drawn each year to see the pageant.

Different episodes of the last days of Christ are acted out in various stations culminating in the Sanhedrin process and trial before Pilate in Republic Street and the Crucifixion just beneath the Citadel bastions. More than 200 actors take part in the pageant.

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