Who was St. Joseph?
St. Joseph ??? Nope, don’t know much about him either, so I’m not even going to pretend that l do. You can get a bit more information here. From what l understand, he was the husband of Mary, therefore the father of Jesus in my book, at least in the real world.
St Joseph’s Day:
He is celebrated all over the island of Malta at different times. The actual commemorative date is March 19, but there is only one village called Rabat, that celebrates it then. The rest of the country just picks arbitrary days to celebrate. Most of the time, it will be in summer. It seems there is a feast of some kind every single weekend in the summer. I never knew so many saints existed before moving here.
Fun fact, Malta has the highest number of public holidays in Europe. I think this year though, they cut about 4 of them to be more in line with the rest of the E.U. Our town, Msida, had their festa (feast) this past weekend. It actually started Thursday, and ended on Sunday. The preparation started over a month ago, with the lights, and stands going up.
Joseph Malta: A Saint for all
We live right on the main street, and the church is just a few doors down. We got to observe everything from the comfort of our terrace. What a beautiful sight with all the tiny lights twinkling against the backdrop of the marina and it’s vast array of boats. There was a concert given on Friday by a local band. It was impossible to sleep early as fireworks went off till late in the night.
Malta is known for it’s blind devotion to fireworks. There have actually been a lot of lives lost due to exploding firework factories. In the summer, they go off almost nightly, and get this, during the mornings as well. I find it incredulous as you can’t see anything during the day.. yet, they still do it. I consider it a waste of money, but apparently, it is tradition.
Malta Fireworks: St Joseph’s Feast Celebration
Feast of St. Joseph Malta:
At least three to four days prior to the holiday, the bands practiced on the streets and it was fun to watch from our terrace.
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My poor dogs spend the weekends cowering under the bed, or squeezed in with my husband on his chair as they get frightened. Many a neighbor searches for their cats etc in the morning as they take off when the booms come fast and furious. The only annoying part for me was that the marching band practiced for days leading up to the actual feast day (Sunday) and l felt like l was going to blow a fuse if l heard one more trumpet :-) .
All told, it was a pretty enjoyable feast, and the smell of the grilled meat wafting up to us had my beagles on tippy toes trying to figure out the source. This made walking them in the mornings adventures of a different kind. They couldn’t wait to go for the scraps left behind, before the street cleaning.
What about you? Is there a patron saint festival where you are? Have you ever been? would it be something you might like?