Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Festa rivalries : changing attitudes to the Maltese festa
Authors: Abela, Noel (2017)
Keywords: Feasts, Religious -- Malta -- Żebbuġ
Feasts, Religious -- Malta -- Mqabba
Feast of St. Philip of Agira -- Malta -- Żebbuġ
Feast of St Joseph -- Malta - Żebbuġ
Feast of the Assumption -- Malta -- Mqabba
Feast of Our Lady of Lillies -- Malta -- Mqabba
12th May Band and Social Club (Żebbuġ, Malta)
Għaqda Każin Banda San Filep (Żebbuġ, Malta)
Soċjetà Santa Marija u Banda Re Ġorġ V (Mqabba, Malta)
Soċjetà Mużikali Madonna tal-Ġilju (Mqabba, Malta)
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Abela, N. (2017). Festa rivalries : changing attitudes to the Maltese festa (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: I have been living in the village of Ħaż-Żebbuġ for more than forty years. This gives me a good insight of how the people in the village live, think and talk. In villages like Ħaż-Żebbuġ almost everyone knows one another and if someone is not local, somehow, someone, finds about that person too. The same can be said about Mqabba. Although I do not hail from there, it is the same village attitude where everyone knows everyone on a smaller scale. Even though there is a distinction in population and distance between Ħaż-Żebbuġ and Mqabba, the fact that one finds similarities, especially with regards to festa celebrations, encouraged me to do the research about Mqabba too. The village festa has always been an interesting event in the village of Ħaż-Żebbuġ as I am sure in almost most of the other villages around Malta and Gozo. The name of the village of Ħaż-Żebbuġ is mostly associated with the titular saint, San Filep especially with those that love to attend the village festa. Still, San Filep is not the only village festa that we celebrate, there is also the festa of San Ġużepp, the secondary festa. Since there are two festas in the same village this was eventually for Ħaż-Żebbuġ, the cause for the festa rivalry that exists today. The rivalry that exists within the village of Ħaż-Żebbuġ was the cause for this study to commence. At a tender age, I remember people bickering on which saint is better or which band club is organising a better festa than the other. Since I used to play the clarinet with one of the San Filep band clubs, such criticism towards the other band clubs was the norm of the day. Still I could never share their opinion regarding the insults that they used to say or the band criticism mentioned towards the other band clubs. I wanted to find out the reason behind this rivalry, what causes it, what makes a person support one saint and not the other and if the attitudes towards rivalry have ever changed. I used a system of triangulation for my research, where I started off from the literature about both villages and searched theories about people’s participation in the festa. This was one of the main reasons why I chose Mqabba as a comparative study since there is abundant literature and studies on the place from various authors. I also attended certain festa celebrations of both villages, and lastly, I used the interviews to gather the information about my research which was the bulk of my research. Those interviewed come from all walks of life, from labourers to professional people but mostly people from the same committee of the local band, from the president to the secretary and local supporters that just attended the club. I went through the local historical books of both villages of Ħaż-Żebbuġ and Mqabba. This gave me an insight about how the villages originated and how the cults and band clubs started off in both villages. The local festa booklets of both villages illustrated how both festas are organised: from the committee members that take care of the organisation of the festa to the number of activities organised during the week preceding the festa. The local booklets also shed light on the rivalry that exists between clubs in the same villages especially for Ħaż-Żebbuġ. This was the first part of the write up of my research, the introductory chapters deal with the historical part of both villages. Still, this was not enough for me. Books do not give you details about rivalry. They illustrate facts, especially the historical ones. I wanted to gather the opinion of the people regarding my theme of research and that is what my research was mostly about: what the people know and think about the rivalry in their village. When possible, historical facts helped me out in comparing what the people said in the interviews to what really happened. Since I am from the village of Ħaż-Żebbuġ, it was easier for me to interview the people there mostly because they knew who I was and because many knew some of my relatives. For the village of Mqabba I had link persons that vouched for me and once I have stated from where I was, it was somehow easier for them to communicate with me. The results of the interviews were then discussed in the sole chapter entitled Oral History since it dealt with what the people told me in the interviews, what they know. One of the last chapters in my research is about comparing the celebration of Palio di Siena with the local village festa. There are many things that are common in both celebrations because after all in both activities people attend to have fun and feel proud when participating in them. Since there is more than one group involved that also means that there is cause for rivalry too as the research has shown. The concluding chapter of this research was formulated from the historical books, the personal experience of the village festa and the interviews that gave me an insight on what the people think about rivalry and on the preparations involved for the celebration of the local village festa.
Description: M.MALTESE STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsMS - 2017

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
3.09 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.