Easter activities launched: Gozo – Art, Faith and Traditions

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Local wardens will, as of tomorrow, start issuing warning tickets to drivers who commit a range of minor traffic offences.  The offences in question include having a broken silencer, having broken lights glass, or if the car’s lights are not working, illegal parking in a way that does not cause obstruction, the vehicle licence not being attached to the windscreen, or if the car is not in a road-worthy condition.  The ticket will be a one-time warning, meaning that the warden would hand out a ticket if the driver is caught committing the same offence again.  The warning ticket will be logged in a system by LESA, the Local Enforcement System Agency, allowing wardens to identify repeat offenders.  Parliamentary secretary for local government Stefan Buontempo denied that the move would encourage more indiscipline in the roads, arguing that people will be fined if they repeat the offence.  “I’ve heard of many cases of people who park illegally outside a pharmacy for two minutes, return to their car and find that they have received a ticket. We don’t consider this just, and this will show that we are listening to people’s complaints.”Gozo – Art, Faith and Tradition, this fourth edition of events for Lent and Easter, was officially launched today by the Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo. The programme for this year starts on the 16th of March and ends on Easter Sunday, the 16th of April.

The Minister said that the Easter programme had become a very popular part of the cultural calendar of Gozo. There will be Easter events and activities taking place throughout Gozo, including concerts, processions, pageants and exhibitions of statues, as well as opera, and many activities for children.

The Minister for Gozo thanked the Easter in Gozo Committee for their endeavours, as well as the various Directorates within the Ministry for Gozo for their continuous support for these initiatives, the operators of various businesses in Gozo, and the Malta Tourism Authority for its support with the activities being organised.

The Minister also had words of praise for everyone who participates voluntarily in these activities during the Easter holidays, striving to preserve our traditions, and helping to achieve success in the tourism sector, he said.

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 to help the Gozitan and Maltese public plan their visits.

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

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