Passion Play around the streets of Victoria: L-Imsallab fi Triqatna
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Next Saturday, the 1st of April, will see the seventeenth edition of the Pageant of the Passion of Christ, enacted along the streets of Victoria, organised by the Ghaqda Dilettanti Gimgha l-Kbira – Ghawdex.
‘L-Imsallab fi Triqatna,’ a Passion play, opens with a parade of Roman soldiers, starting at 7.00pm from Vajringa Street, continuing to St Augustine’s Square, from where the theatrical production starts at 7.30pm.
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 from 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.
Fourteen 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, followed by the Crucifixion. More than 200 actors take part in the pageant.
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.