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Title: A village festa in Gozo
Authors: Cassar, George N.
Keywords: Gozo (Malta) -- Social life and customs
Feasts, Religious -- Malta -- Gozo
Fasts and feasts -- Malta -- Gozo
Issue Date: 1961
Publisher: St. Michael's College Publications
Citation: Cassar, G.N. (1961). A village festa in Gozo. Malta Yearbook 1961, 260-263
Abstract: Village life in Gozo is characterized by endless monotony and complete seclusion from social activities. The old village folk, free from the tentacles of obtrusive modernism, generally bury themselves in their own affairs. Most of them care very little about the world outside the spot on which they live; h'story, however glorious, does not bother them, and few of them have visions of a better future. Their villages, scattered throughout the length and breadth of the island, seem to be museums of ancient customs, little changed by the passing o.f the centuries. But the almost morbid impression of stillness and silence that a stranger finds in every village soon vanishes when a festa is in the air, For during the celebration of the titular feast of the Parish Church, which forms the nucleus of the village, the whole neighbourhood gives itself over to gaiety. Indeed the festa changes the whole rhythm of the villagers' Jives. Presenting a curious example of the mixture of religious ceremony and rustic revels, the festa plays a very important part :n their social and economic life. It is primarily a religious festival and a Holy Day of Obligation, but naturally enough, it provides a happy relief from a humdrum existence and a certain relaxation to this hard-working and frugal people. Such simple pleasures as solemn processions, gar:sh fireworks, colourful band-marches and a rich meal, complete with wholesome wine, give full rein to the most lovable and childlike simplicity of the national character.
Appears in Collections:Malta Yearbook : 1961

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