Gozo Easter programme of activities launched – Art, Faith and Tradition
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A full programme of activities have been announced for this year’s Easter in Gozo – Art, Faith and Tradition.
Gozo is always a special place to be at Easter, and this year will be no exception. There will be Easter events and activities taking place throughout Gozo, both inside and outside the churches, including concerts of sacred music, processions, pageants and exhibitions of statues, visual arts exhibitions, and many activities for children.
Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana launched this sixth edition of the programme, organised by the Ministry for Gozo, saying that it has become an established part of the vast cultural calendar which Gozo offers, making the island an attractive destination to visit, not least at Easter, when the island offers such a unique experience.
She also remarked that Gozo is endowed with talent and the aim of these initiatives is to recognise this talent in the many people who devote their free time to carry out these activities.Dr Caruana stated that the programme of activities, of different genre, but similar in thought, are being coordinated by the Ministry with the full cooperation of the Diocese of Gozo, all parishes, various organisations, and individual artists.
She added that with the collaboration and experience of everyone, both in the cultural and religious sector and even from the commercial aspect, a programme was created to suit all tastes.
A promotional booklet with the full programme details was also launched, with the aim of helping the Gozitan and Maltese public plan their visits.
Gozo is the destination for Easter, and this year Dr Caruana said the Ministry has increased the investment for this programme.
The Easter programme starts on Monday, the 1st of April and will come to a close on Easter Sunday, the 21st of April.
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.
Easter Saturday or Easter Vigil, will see 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.
Following 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).
Bells ring out across the islands to welcome Easter Sunday. 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 will be available on the Easter in Gozo Facebook Page.
Top photo by Joe Grech and below by MGOZ/Terry Camilleri