Easter launched in Gozo – Art, Faith and Tradition: 3rd edition
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Gozo – Art, Faith and Tradition, third edition of events for Lent and Easter, was officially launched today by the Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo. The programme for this year covers a full month between the 28th of February and the 27th of March.
There will be Easter events and activities taking place throughout Gozo, including concerts, processions, pageants and exhibitions of statues. This year there will be an animated Via Crucis around the streets of the Citadel, as well as an Easter Party for all the family inside the Villa Rundle Gardens, Victoria.
"Gozo is endowed with talent and it was our purpose to celebrate this Gozitan talent and to highlight just how much people dedicate their free time to carry out these activities," Minister Refalo said.
The Minister said that these initiatives have found cooperation from the various Directorates within the Ministry for Gozo, as well as Gozo Channel, the Gozo Diocese, Gozo College, local councils, all parishes, various organisations and artists and the Malta Tourism Authority, which among others have contributed to promoting the initiative.
Dr Refalo added that arrangements have been made for various initiatives to take place in villages and towns across the island, all of which will be described in a promotional booklet which will be distributed to households, and a DVD, as well as posters and ongoing continuous promotion on the media and on social networking via the facebook page Easter in Gozo.
The Minister for Gozo urged the public to attend these organised activities during the Lent and Easter period.
Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar since it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a festival celebrating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and includes various events of religious and traditional activities, such as processions, pageants, exhibitions and folklore.
Starting on Easter Saturday or Easter Vigil, the parishes of Gozo, as in Malta, will gather the faithful in their churches for a solemn religious service and the traditional rituals of the blessing of water and fire.
The church lights are turned off, and each of the congregation will light a candle from the Pascal Candle, resulting in the whole church being bathed in the glow of flickering candles
Bells ring out across the island and the scriptures are read and sermons delivered before the celebrant blesses the holy water that is used for baptisms and the whole congregation confirms their faith by reciting the baptismal vows. After the service the congregation may linger for a while in the church for a drink, or to take a piece of the traditional Figolla (Maltese almond Easter cake).
Easter Sunday is welcomed with bells ringing out across the islands, a traditional march with the statue of the risen Christ will take place in some parishes following the service. These traditional marches are usually accompanied by local bands and their popularity has remained undimmed through several centuries.
The full programme of events for Lent and Easter can be found on the Easter in Gozo Facebook Page.
Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri